the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Accelerando

Leta has been taking piano lessons for, what, a month and a half? Wait, scratch that. The both of us have been taking lessons because I’m learning just as much as she is. SHHH! Don’t tell her teacher. Or the police because technically I’m stealing. Or my bishop! GAH! Then I couldn’t take the sacrament on Sunday!

I never really learned how to read music for the left hand which I now know is called bass clef. Leta has a set of flash cards that we go through every day, so now I know all sorts of things about sheet music. Including the fact that, JESUS CHRIST, there are a quadrillion things specified at the very beginning of a song: play it this loud, in this key, in this time signature, with a ham sandwich and pickles, GINA.

There is a lot to learn, is what I’m saying, and this can be frustrating for a seven-year-old who inherited a nasty little personality trait from her mother. If she can’t do something perfectly, she gets very upset. And almost every time we sit down to practice there are tears, and I have to remind her about that one time my boyfriend took me to play pool, except I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO PLAY POOL, and because I could not get that white ball to go where I wanted it to go I whacked the stick against the table and it broke in half. One of my finer moments in life.

I was so embarrassed that I didn’t know how to play pool that when my boyfriend asked what was wrong I said, “My friend’s dog died yesterday.”

He gets to tell that horror story to his buddies when they are comparing scars. You’re welcome, Ryan.

This usually breaks her concentration for a few minutes so that she can stop focusing on NOT BEING PERFECT and practice a line until it actually is. And the progress she’s making is just mind-blowing. I look at the lessons from the beginning and then at what she’s playing today and I want to ask her if her brain hurts. But then I remember that she’s only seven and the brain at that age is wired to learn like that. At thirty-six the brain is wired to look around for that beer you just had in your hand only to realize it’s in your other hand.

What’s impressing me most is one, the fact that she loves to practice and doesn’t ever complain about it (remember when she used to complain about walking? and eating? and having to blink her eyes?) and two, she’s memorizing the songs as she plays them. So already, after just a month and a half, she’s a better piano player than I am. Which is fine with me. I’m way better at driving than she is, SO WE’RE EVEN.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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