March to the Beat of your own Drummer

Sunshine is going to be a senior in college.  I can’t even imagine.  What happens when I have kids older than college?  How old does that make me?  Ancient.  They say time goes really fast and it does.  It’s a cliche for a reason.

I’ve talked before about how Sunshine has had some trouble with anxiety and she had a particularly bad time the beginning of this year right after Christmas.  Her college has a masters program in Psychology and they use test patients who sign up and she’s done that every year since her freshman year, but this year, the student psychologist said she might need to find someone in the community to help her, like an actual, already-established, therapist.  We are a family of procrastinators so she didn’t do it right away and she was feeling really out of sorts.  So she started searching for other things, inexpensive things for her to spend her time.  She signed up for a massage through the college and she liked that.  She continued going hiking with friends.  I sent Tenderheart to her a couple of times so they could spend some time together.  Moonshine went down a couple of times.

In February, she found drum lessons.  I don’t even know how.  It may have been through a flyer at school, but she went in for the trial lesson and she was hooked.  She would call me after the lesson and just be so excited.  She said her instructor said she was progressing really well and that she was actually really good.  She eventually found a therapist down there and has gotten 16 free sessions so that’s helping her out a lot too, but she keeps going back to drumming every week.  The second week of lessons she came home with her own drum sticks and a practice pad.  She lives in an apartment so she obviously can’t get a drum set, but she practices on her practice pad and has learned to read the music and is really having fun with it.

Side note:  Since this is my blog, I’m going to make this all about me.  About 10 years ago I started taking dance lessons with my work friend Kevin.  They were through the city and they weren’t free but they were really inexpensive.  I loved it!  It was so much fun.  The instructor told me, You have something here that can’t be taught, and I said, Hips?  And he said, No, rhythm.  And I said, Yeah, I do!

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Sunshine’s been dancing since she was four and took piano lessons for about five years.  All my children have been through dance and piano, and they’ve each come back and said, I wish you wouldn’t have let me quit piano and I wish I would have practiced more.  And I said, I wish that was something you would have understood when I was yelling at you to practice.  But the fight got to be too much and I gave up and let them quit.

She called me a couple of months ago and told me her instructor wanted her to be in his year-end recital but she didn’t know if she should do it or not.  I said, Heck, yeah, you should!  And how exciting!!  She said it was with a bunch of middle schoolers and I said, who cares!  I told her I’d come down there and be front and center.  She told me to lower my expectations.

It was on a Saturday afternoon.  So Moonshine and Tenderheart got their work shifts covered and we left at noon for her 1:30 recital.  Unfortunately, the traffic, as always, was atrocious and I was going to be 25 minutes late.  I did some illegal driving where I went down an on ramp and turned onto a service road and then went through the grass to get back on the highway and we got there at 1:20.  Tenderheart was car sick by the time we got there, but I couldn’t miss it! And she was right, there were three other 11-year-olds and her.

And she was so good.  Like really good.  She closed the recital with two songs and he told everyone she’s a senior in college and has only been playing since February and then he passed around her music to the last song to show everyone how hard it was.  He was like beaming.  He came over and talked to us and kept going on and on about how good she is.  But I was just so impressed with how much fun she was having.  She kept trying not to smile too big because she was concentrating on the music and she played I love Rock ‘n Roll and then Uptown Funk, which was the music he passed around.  Someone’s grandma came up to her after and said, You’ve only been playing since February? And she said, Yes. And grandma said, Bloody hell, you’re really good.

We went to lunch and then we drove back and I texted her later to tell her thank you for inviting me down and I told her that you could see her on the video trying not to smile too big and she said, “I know, it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done.”  And I’m so thankful I got to be a part of seeing her do something she truly loves.  And even though she wants to quit school and join a band right now, which isn’t going to happen, I’m just so happy she’s found something that gives her that much joy.

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