It’s no secret that I didn’t grow up with a lot. It was East Oakland, not the hipster haven Oakland it is now, but gun shots and home robbery Oakland. When I think about my childhood, it is often
tainted colored by some of these experiences. One of them being pianos. My friends used to complain about how they hated having piano lessons. While I understood, even then, how much they felt it was a chore, I wished so hard that I could be in that position to have the same. But I knew it wasn’t something we could afford. It was simply out of my reach.
In junior high, music class was an elective. I LOVED every bit of it even though it never went beyond those basic lessons in music notes, staff, and a few memorized ditties.
Fast forward twenty plus years. When we started to discuss activities for our kids, piano was on the top of my list. One, because while academics will always be the main focus in our household, I want it balanced with left brain creativity and music. Two, I love the idea of the melody of what they’re learning to flood this home. And three, I fully plan on learning alongside them — I don’t want them to ever think they’re too old to learn something new.
As I think about this huge purchase we just made– while it may not be a big deal for some families– I wonder if we should’ve dropped so much money for something they’ve never indicated they’d enjoy. And I worry that I’m projecting all these wishful desires on them when it’s not something they ever wanted for themselves.
But such is the quandary, right? How do you raise children to appreciate what they have and know what we’ve sacrificed for them, when they’ve never known what it’s like to want for something at all…