Granted, we are a notch below Violin Moms in musical martyrdom — we doff our imaginary crowns in their venerable direction — but here we stand: proud, determined and emotionally drained. A seemingly endless chorus of "Why do I have to practice?" sings us to sleep to the tune of our child's latest simple melody played in resentful staccato. But sleep, we must, because we will do it all again tomorrow, alone, with only our children's best interests to buoy us through.
Someone once said, "Children cut their teeth on their parents." Never in their lives has this ever been more true of my girls. Do they like the piano? Yes. Do they want piano lessons? Absolutely. Do they like their teacher? Without a doubt, especially when they perform their pieces for him to heart-bursting perfection. But practice? God forbid. No time is a good time. It's either too early or too late. They're too hungry, too sleepy or, the absolute worst, they've just started the best game in the world which will be completely ruined by senseless interruption. Nevertheless, without the promise of trophies or popsicles at half time, we Piano Mom's must inflict the ultimate indignity: the death march to the piano bench. A few warm ups and they settle in, but our ears must stay alert for digressions: Chopsticks, vampire-esque chords or, worse, silence.
Perhaps if Piano Moms got shiny red convertibles, garden flags, and arm bands all would be easier. We could wave at each other as we pass on our way to and from lessons, high-five in the grocery aisles, and nod appreciably as we cut the grass. I suppose there must be Piano Mom chat rooms out there where I might commiserate with like-minded musical martyrs but with two girls in lessons I simply haven't the time.
So to all you Piano Moms out there, I salute you. We are the honourable ones. And to you Violin Moms: I don't know how you do it.