At around six years, my mom asked if I’d like to take tap dance or piano lessons. I never hesitated and chose tap. My little sister and I began weekly tap dance lessons at a studio some miles away. I have no recollection of getting into the car to go, but I do recall the regimental “Heel, Toe, Shuffle Step” and “Pointer Step” commands. I think there was a “Slide” command in there, too. Little did I know this was leading up to a formal recital presentation which was announced, some months later. I begged to be excused. Mom was having none of it. So when the morning came to dress up and go, I was so nervous I threw up. She was boiling mad.
“That does it!” she said, “You’re going to take piano lessons now!”
I think Daddy took Karen on to the recital while I stayed home with Mother. I admired Karen that she went without me: she was only five at the time. (She discontinued the tap, thanks to me but took piano and voice lessons and has done numerous solos at church, plus directed church choirs, her fondest love. She has the presence of mind to perform with composure and confidence.)
Next month, I began the disappointing piano lessons after school once a week from Mrs. Bloomer, our church organist. She lived three blocks away and once I learned the route, Mom allowed me to walk home on my own, even though I had to carefully cross a busy thoroughfare called Division Avenue, to reach our house on Garland Street. It wasn’t long before I discovered that the piano was great fun even though practicing was a chore. I worked hard to get that lick- and-stick shiny star on every song I could. I also grew to adore my patient and good-hearted grandma-like teacher. Her first name was Jenny.
I regret not sticking with the tap dancing, for I so love to dance or watch tap dance and Irish clogging. Alas, I chose foolishly to abandon that opportunity just because I had a nervous stomach.
But life throws us curves and sometimes that’s not so bad. Because of my mother, I now can read music well. I played piano for my high school choir and most of the churches we attended, and accompanied soloists. I played the piano in my classrooms and each student had a sing-along songbook of all the tunes we learned in a year! Sometimes good intentions or hopes that don’t work out can spur something else just as amazing! Thank you, Mom!
How wonderful that our Creator gives each of us a talent or two, to add blessing to ourselves and others, and return blessing to Himself. My newest venture is re-learning how to play the flute. I am a long way from being able to play songs publicly, but it is worth working for.
What is/are your talent(s)?