Please allow me to invite you into my home on any given weekday evening around 9:15. The kids are upstairs, mostly in bed. Maybe someone is still packing up for school the next day. I am just sitting down:
Several years ago I bought my piano because: (1) I had always wanted one; (2) it fits in the room--according to ME and not the decorator; (3) it is beautiful to see and hear. I started taking lessons alongside my children so that I might at least pretend that I merit such a beautiful instrument. Getting practice time in during the day was tough, though, and so I had to figure something else out. My sweet husband one day suggested that I just practice after the kids went to bed. (And while he did the dishes!) I was afraid that the noise would keep the kids up. After all, sometimes practicing the piano means practicing the same two or three phrases over and over and OVER. But no other time presented itself, so one night I sat down. Would you believe no one complained?
That became our ritual for a couple of years--I'd play the piano after the kids went to bed, no matter how loud the music I was working on. I came to look forward to it, and, much to my surprise. everyone else did, too. I kept up with my music until I'd had the shop open for about four months. I quit playing so I could knit and knit and knit--samples of all kinds, and those extra minutes with my eyes open were important!
I don't have the shop anymore, you know. But I haven't started taking lessons again, either.
About a week ago, sweet little P came to me and said, "Mama, can you play piano while I go to sleep?" Oh, my heart melts just writing that. I hadn't touched the keys in about a year, but my fingers remembered far more than my head did. I sat down and played for twenty minutes or so. The next morning, she told me that she liked it but that I hadn't played long enough. Okay, so thirty minutes seems to be enough. No one else complained, and on night three, I actually heard a "Yay!" from my oldest as I completed a long Beethoven sonata. (Yes, I asked, and he liked it--he was cheering for a good piece, not that it was over.)
Our evening ritual is back. My children again are being played to sleep.
Stop by any weekday night. I don't take too many requests, and you probably will unnerve me if you sit and watch. But if you'd like to lay on the couch in the family room and listen, well, that would be just fine. And I'll be here for thirty minutes or so, longer if I like what I'm playing.