Mommy, I Prefer to Be Called Maestro

song du jour: Carmen: Overture, Bizet

mood: happily dismayed

A couple of weeks ago, after a big weekend at Gran's Skyler came home and dragged said gran into the living room so that she could play the piano while he conducted. My mother had been attempting to convince Skyler that she can, in fact, play the piano in the hope of his letting her teach him how to do more than bang on it. Since Skyler didn't remember hearing her play, he'd been insisting that he, not she, was the true virtuoso.

I was busy making dinner, sockeye salmon, our favorite, and heard the obligatory "Mom! Come here!" I went in, expecting to find my child waving his arms like a loon to excerpts from Carmen and the 1947 Episcopal Hymnal, and to my complete shock there was my child, a small stick from some construction set held horizontally between his fingerstips (like most conductors do), standing in front of 2 boxes, stacked to serve as a stand for his sheet music, and conducting. For Real.

When most people faux conduct they usually wave their arms wildly in and out in a horizontal swoop. Skyler was bringing both hands up on the 1 and down on the 2. (Not the 4 pattern yet, MD, just the 2.) No matter what else distracted him, when he started again, he automatically picked up on the first beat. I was freaking out, but then I realized it was a given that my mom would have taught him how to do it correctly, and I was just impressed that he had learned and could always find the beat and the 1. Watching him, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the idea that I won't be able to afford to send him to Julliard. Hyper parent as that sounds, it's a weird family deja vu. His grandfather was offered a scholarship, but his great grandparents couldn't afford to keep up their eldest in NY city. If they could have, I probably wouldn't be here.

After he went to bed and the grownups got to talk, I told my mom what a wonderful job she'd done teaching him how to conduct. She blinked. "I thought you taught him!"

"Huh?" I replied. "Me? The only place he could have learned that around here is watching Tom or Bugs Bunny conducting Jerry or Elmer Fudd, and observant little remote control obsessed cartoon watcher that he is, I think that might be reaching a little. I'm not surprised, though, that the tiny tyrrant would want to be the one in charge instead of just another member of the orchestra. In any case he gets all the credit for always finding the first count of each phrase."

"Well, at my house he tells me what instrument to play, and he conducts me. I play a lot of air violin."

[In a fit of laughter, V nearly spews sweetened iced tea all over her mother.]

Today Skyler announced that he's going to become an Arabic singing pop star because he wants to be rich. My child is quite sheltered from pop culture (but not world pop music), so I don't where he gets these ideas, however, Amr Diab tickets recently went for over $100 just to get in the door, so I certainly wouldn't discourage his efforts. ;-)

No comments: