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Fiddlers three

December 7, 2009

Scene: AJ’s bedroom. AJ is supposed to be getting ready for school, but is moving slowly in hopes of being offered a ride. Harriet is supervising to make sure he stays on target.

AJ: How am I getting to school today?

Harriet: Walking, of course.

AJ: But…[he gazes out the window and notices a single solitary snowflake drifting lazily down onto the porch]…it’s snowing!

Harriet: [Peering out the window in search of signs of snow]. I don’t think it’s snowing. But even if it is, that’s even more of a reason to walk.

AJ: If it’s snowing, you should give me a ride.

Harriet: No. It’s MUCH safer to walk than to drive when it’s snowing.

AJ: Can’t you just give me a ride?

Harriet: Not today.

AJ: Don’t you want me to be happy?

Harriet: I want you to get some exercise and go to school.

• • • • •

Yes, AJ, some things are even more important than your happiness. And also, life isn’t fair. Try me again on Thursday when it’s supposed to be 6 degrees. Perhaps I will relent.

It was a nice wintery sort of day, although we didn’t have nearly as much snow as they apparently got in the city. Not even enough to shovel, which is a perfect amount of snow if you ask me. It should snow this much every day until there’s enough snow piled up to go sledding on and then it should stop. That’s what I think.

I did some Christmas shopping this morning just in the nick of time to assist Santa with a present he’ll be bringing AJ on Saturday at our town’s annual party. What was the deadline for drop off? Why, today, of course! Just in under the wire, as usual. I did some research in the afternoon, and then headed to my new job at School of Rock.

It was an easy day, as I only had two scheduled lessons and the second one called in sick. The first lesson, though, is going to be great fun. He’s one of the shop employees. He teaches guitar and mandolin and he’s been trying to teach himself violin for about a year and is feeling like he needs some help. He’s a tremendous musician and he’s getting a really good sound, especially considering his bow arm, which is all over the place. Because he has played mandolin, which is tuned exactly like the violin, he’s capable of some pretty tricky stuff. But he’s never played a fretless instrument before and he’s never used a bow. He’s been teaching himself technique by reading Leopold Mozart’s treatise (that’s Wolfgang’s dad, for those unfamiliar), which I only know as an historical document — it hadn’t occurred to me to try to use it. And he’s been learning Bach by ear because he doesn’t read music very well. He’ll be totally unlike any student I’ve ever tried to teach. I expect we’re going to learn from each other as much as anything. He wants to learn both Irish fiddle and baroque violin — my two favorite things. This is going to be a blast. And it’s going to keep me on my toes, because he will easily outstrip me, I think. Lots more practicing in my future.

I love going into this place. The people who work there all clearly love working together. It’s so packed with instruments, hung floor to ceiling on hooks, that you can hardly turn around, especially with a fiddle slung over your shoulder. Hanging out around the front desk at the end of the day, getting introduced to the other players, chatting about music and checking off my lessons in the payroll book, I felt like a real musician again. Now I just need to start playing like one.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2009 8:43 pm

    Oh no, he’s practicing to be a teenager! 🙂 The School of Rock sounds fun. Good for stories, too.

  2. December 7, 2009 8:45 pm

    The lessons sound like fun – and a good reason to leave the house this winter. Your conversation with AJ reminds me of the almost daily conversations I have with Older Charge, who insists that his backpack is toooooo heaaaaavy for him to carry to the car.

  3. crankygirl permalink
    December 8, 2009 9:17 am

    Do many (or most) parents drive their kids every day? I always felted ripped off in bad weather because the OTHER KIDS had it easier. Supposedly.

  4. December 8, 2009 9:33 am

    Most parents drive their kids every single day, even the ones who live even closer to the school than we do. I drive him when it’s raining, which is more than I got most of the time when I was a kid and I lived a lot further from my elementary school than he does from his (and not just in an “uphill both ways” kind of way). Today it’s snowing like crazy and AJ is walking. Why? Because it’s far safer for him to cut across the barn road and through the fence to the sidewalk that runs from the park district to his school than it is for me to try to navigate the six big hills on the car-route between home and school. Today he was excited about the snow (and the possibility of a snow day tomorrow, since it’s supposed to get worse tonight), so he didn’t complain much. I told him to leave good tracks and I’d try to follow them when I went out for my walk later to see which way he went. He seemed entertained by that. I wonder how many trees he’s going to walk around and around.

  5. December 8, 2009 9:55 am

    I’ve always had to drive my kids because they went to an elementary school to which they couldn’t be bussed (open enrollment) and then the bus to middle school came by half an hour before we’d need to leave, and to catch it we had to send our 11-year-old daughter to stand on a street corner in the dark where we couldn’t see her from the house.

    Now that she’s 16, our daughter drives herself and her brother. Except when snow is in the forecast, because she doesn’t know how to drive in it yet…I had to take her this morning, when I still could hardly breathe (much less drive) for coughing. Walker is home with the same cold we’ve all had that turned into a sinus infection for me.

    The fiddling does sound fun.

  6. freshhell permalink
    December 8, 2009 2:16 pm

    Yes, there is a lot of not-fairness swirling in our house on a daily, nay, hourly basis! Because I am so mean as to not cater to the whims of small children.

    As for the bus, my kids ride it every day. Unless a substitute is driving and arrives early and we miss it. Or, it never comes (rare). We have a short driveway but I have noticed that most parents drive their kids down their roads/driveways to meet the bus at the main road which I don’t quite understand. On most days, the opportunity for a walk would be hard to pass up (in my opinion). Weather permitting. Not all the parents are rushing to get to work, either. They’re lazy.

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