When I was six years old, I asked my parents if I could take piano lessons. Friends gave us their old piano, and they found me a piano teacher. We remodeled the basement; the piano stayed. My brother quit playing; I continued. We had a cat who liked to walk across the keys in an articulated glissando to tell us when she was hungry.
When I was sixteen, we moved across town. Because we had lowered the soffits, we couldn’t get the piano out of the basement. Tears, wailing. I didn’t speak to my parents for two and a half months. (You heard me. Two and a half months.)
It was a year before they rented another piano for the new house. During that year, I accompanied two choirs and spent about two hours a day in the practice rooms at the high school. I suppose in the end my parents rented the piano just to get me home again.
In college, I taught myself guitar (you know the kind of guitar I mean: enough chords to play along with the worship band in IVCF) as a substitute for the piano I couldn’t practice. After we were married, Sam’s mom was getting rid of her piano, and we happened to have a perfect spot for this baby grand. Oh, how I loved that piano. (I’m not sure my condo neighbors loved it as much as I did.) And the spot we had it was perfect: we gathered around it to sing hymns and old songs and Christmas carols. But we couldn’t move it one thousand miles when we came to Colorado.
(See the piano there behind baby Owen?)
We bought our current piano off Craigslist when we moved here. When Moriah was eighteen months old, she scaled the whole thing like a mountain and cried when she couldn’t figure out how to get down. We found a piano teacher and a tuner and have been with them for seven years. But there’s no room for the piano in my parents’ basement for the next six months (more low soffits).
So you’ll understand when I say that I was
freaking out sad about having to let the piano go. In the end (after much ridiculousness) we found a digital piano on Craigslist and bought it from a very sweet old man who was thrilled to see four rambunctious children playing it too loudly in his basement. My parents have not yet heard it, but here it is in its new home:
My friend Christine (who got the full brunt of my piano angst when she unwittingly called me) reminded me that God put music in me. In her words, “Pianos have always come to you. God wants you to make music.” Well, she was right again. We’ll see if my parents are still speaking to me when everyone starts practicing.