Sunday, May 11, 2014

Owing it to Moms

In my house, we didn't listen to country music.  Ever.  Except for this one CD.  I have no idea where someone found it, but it was Mary Chapin-Carpenter and the best song on there was "He thinks he'll keep her."  

"She makes his coffee, she makes his bed
She does the laundry, she keeps him fed
When she was twenty-one she wore her mother's lace
She said "forever" with a smile upon her face
She does the car-pool, she PTAs
Doctors and dentists, she drives all day
When she was twenty-nine she delivered number three
And every Christmas card showed a perfect family
Everything runs right on time, years of practice and design
Spit and polish till it shines. "

Mom claimed this as her theme song, if nothing else for the line "she drives all day."  We all laughed at it because Mom seemed to live in the car.  She would drop me off at my violin lesson, pick Diana up from soccer, take Reed to scouts,  make sure Claire was at her friend's house...  When I was 14, she drove me into the city for a mid-year audition for New England Conservatory's youth division; this was her idea.

In fact, most of the things that I accomplished as a child and teenager were her idea.  She taught us to sing harmony so we could be in community theater productions.  I won a year of free piano lessons in a raffle, but she was a piano teacher herself and made sure that I got to my private lessons for years after that.  My school orchestra was fine, but she got me to audition for another orchestra that would let me play Haydn and Vivaldi.  It was the same thing with choir--I had a busy schedule with LCA Chorale, but she also had me running all over the state to sing with Youth Pro Musica.  When my former orchestra from Portland needed another violinist for their tour, she got up early with me so I could learn all of the music in three weeks and then came with me for my tour of Taiwan.  She also accompanied me on the tape that got me into Interlochen Arts Camp, helped me pick out my full-size violin and had a lemonade stand to help pay for the violin and the camp tuition while I was off playing Tchaikovsky and Holst three hours a day.  Since one of my recommendations was from my art teacher, she had the foresight to make me sign up for art classes after all of my musical requirements were done for the day.

She is the traveler who took me through four European countries in fourteen days.  She gave me recordings of Professor Greenberg's lectures on Beethoven, and then convinced me that the best way to listen to them was on a roadtrip to see the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway.  Lately, I haven't invited her on any of my trips to Ireland or Istanbul, but she's supported them.

Most importantly, she's the person who insisted on me continuing my writing.  She would find my fanfics in my notebooks and, rather than lecture me as Dad did, would ask me when I would start writing my own books.

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