Yesterday youngest son came to a decision. He is quitting piano lessons.
This conclusion has taken a while to be reached and was brought to a head by the fact his grade 1 exam is in a couple of weeks. His idea of practicing wasn’t matching up with his teachers and he wasn’t really making the required progress.
His teacher has been amazingly patient with him and I admire the way she has made him concentrate in his lessons and been firm with him.
I feel I have been too wishy washy and maybe I am the one who hasn’t put enough effort in? I’ve not been consistent in getting him to knuckle down and play. Bribery has been resorted to on more than one occasion.
In the back of my head I feel like the failure – don’t all write back and comfort me with words that I am doing my best and it’s hard bringing up the boys alone etc etc. There's some small part of my brain that knows all that.
Andrew was never a quitter. He was tenacious like the proverbial dog with a bone. Even when things got so bad at work it was damaging his mental health he carried on. Although things got resolved before he died I wonder if all that stress was a contributing factor to his heart attack.
It was only when youngest son started to play I found out that Andrew had piano lessons when he was a child.
One day he was being carried aloft by his brother or a friend on their shoulders, he fell and severely broke his arm in two places; “can you feel the bumps?” he would ask, getting me to run my hand along his arm to find the spots where the bones had knitted together.
He was in plaster for weeks and never had a lesson after that.
I don’t really understand why he never took it up again. Maybe there were other things going on too, there really is so much about my husband I will never comprehend now.
What I do know is that Andrew regretted not being able to play an instrument and was so pleased when Ben showed an interest.
If I have failed anyone it is Andrew and I am sorry but you left me and this is way too hard on my own. I can't get it all right, I never did when then were two of us.
And as for youngest son I hope you don’t regret this and end up blaming me for not making you practice. I tried but some battles are just not worth fighting.
Being a parent is tough – never mind Masterchef and their high pressure cooker kitchens – Parenting and making decisions – it doesn’t get much tougher than this!