Here is where I went every week from the time I was five until I was thirteen, here is where stories were constructed, freeze tag was played in the front yard, and music (however squeaky) was spun. My instructor hasn't changed at all, she's still smiling and sprightly, she still exudes that contagious energy that she always has, and you can tell she is doing what she loves.
We finished up the lesson. We past Bach's Minuets and had revisited an old Gavotte and Bourrée. My fingers are still trying to find their places, I've probably grown a foot since I was here last and my hands are adjusting. I looked over at her smiling and tell her that I've never had this much fun playing.
I packed up my violin then I leaned against the wall and my instructor and I caught up a little bit. And then I shared that coming back here and playing again made me realize how much I took for granted playing as a child. I took for granted that I was able to learn to play a beautiful instrument and I never appreciated how much my parents sacrificed in time and resources to give me the opportunity to learn to play the violin. My mom drove thirty to forty-five minutes weekly for years so I could learn, she would wake my sister and I up in the mornings and packed us up into the van even on the mornings when we grumbled and scowled.
My parents insisted I practiced, paid me a quarter on the days that I did, taught me to read music, and I humphed indignantly at times because it was hard. They sacrificed, got attitudes thrown at them for it, and when they got frustrated - I thought it was their problem...whoops.
I sat in a room and built memories with the other children in between lessons and orchestra. On nice days we would play freeze tag for hours in the front lawn (my sister fell into the pond once and had to play in orchestra with wet jean shorts), on cold days we would play epic battles of War with cards or pickup sticks in front of the fireplace. And this is just a sliver of my fantastic childhood--and I never realized how incredibly blessed that I was. So, I told her thank you for teaching me as a child.
While I was driving home I thought about how much I would love to go back in time and bend down and take my seven year old selves face in my hands and tell her/myself to appreciate everything. "You have much to be thankful for, be grateful. And don't be a butt," is what I want to tell my little serious eyed child self.
I drove back to my parents house, went inside and caught my mom washing dishes downstairs. I snuck up behind her gave her a hug, apologized for the prick of a child I was and the prick of an adult child I can still be at times, and I told her thank you for everything that I took and take for granted, for my music lessons, the time, the patience, and everything else. And true to my mom's character she laughed it off and said it was no big deal.
When it comes to parents, I have a couple of the best ever.