On Paige

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Paige has been fun to watch recently.  She is really going through a maturing phase and it is visible from so many angles.  She is showing signs physically (every person we see comments on her height), and psychologically (she gets more jokes, can process weightier subjects and is just plain interesting to talk to). 

Tonight was her second night of piano lessons.  Despite claiming she didn't want to take piano (until very recently), she is totally hooked.  She has finally realized that just a little knowledge can go a long way in the form of pretty music.  She has already taught herself "Deck the Halls" with one hand (but correct fingering!).  I very much hope that this lasts at least long enough to get a strong foundation of music and the ability to sit down and bang out a few songs easily when she wishes. 

I took piano for 7 years and loved having the ability to sit and play.  I did NOT like playing for others (ask my parents).  I liked to play most on the rare occasions when I was home alone.  There is just something therapeutic and calming about playing.  I would do it when I was bored, stressed, waiting for something (like dinner to be ready), or when I just wanted to be alone.  I remember my mom saying she used to like to listen to me practice when she was working in the kitchen.  (Which was annoying because I kind of liked to think no one was listening).  But now I get to be on that side of the piano and I have to say - I'm probably going to love that as much as playing myself.

And then there was the other night.  Paige brought home a book from her teacher's personal library.  It was a part of the "I Survived" series in which the author takes a real historical event and makes up a fictional story within it.  They are realistic and historically accurate.  This one was about the attacks on September 11th.  While Paige knows about the events on 9/11, she really just knows the headline facts.  Quite frankly, scenes of people jumping from a burning high rise and walking through the streets of NYC like dust-covered ghosts is one that many adults have trouble wrapping their minds around, much less a young girl.  So when the 10-year anniversary passed last year, we didn't watch much of the replayed specials of that day.

But reading this account of an 11-year old boy whose father was a fire fighter hit a chord with Paige.  It brought her to tears and caused her fear that kept her up that night.  And the thing that hit a chord with me is that she wasn't fearing monsters in her closet or shadows on her wall.  She was fearing real people and real evil that exists in this world.  And while I know our job as parents isn't to protect them from the ugly forever, but to give them the tools to deal with it themselves as they mature, sometimes I just wish her biggest fears would always be monsters and shadows.


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