Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~Author Unknown

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~Life's Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


One of the best parts of being a parent, from my perspective, is what I like to call the “rock star” effect. On most days I work well into the evening. As I arrive home at the Fortress of Autism –(so named because of the redundant locking system used to keep the flight risked little man from whimsically fleeing), my three little groupies greet me with such an incredible level of exuberance, I literally do feel like a rock star exiting a limo in front of his latest gig. I often joke that it is hard to imagine that some day these little ones will grow up to resent me and curse me to their therapists. I know some day, not too far in the future, these little angels will come to find out the little secret I have kept from humanity over the past 37+ years: I am really not that cool.

The Little Man can sometimes take that “rock star” effect to a whole other level – often expecting me to readily possess skills equivalent to those of the greatest composers and artists of all time.

I am a sub-amateur piano player with a piano that is out of tune. (Fortunately, I am also tone deaf- so I am not sure which keys are out of tune.). I would consider myself to be slightly better than someone who can sit and play chopsticks - so I am “Chopsticks Plus,” if you will. I am painfully slow to read music, so if I try to play something unfamiliar, it takes me a long, long, long time to get it right. That is, unless I give up in a Don Music fit of head banging in the meantime.

So as I hunt and peck away an out-of-tune tune one day, the Little Man comes over and puts his hands on top of mine and exerts some force to stop me from playing. He then removes his hands, looks me in the eyes and says “Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.” HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH! Good one! So I go right back to what ever out-of-tune I was playing. He stops me again, ““Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.” I mean, I appreciate the confidence, my good man, but I am musically challenged and am only slapping at the ivories to get faux applause from mom when I’m done.

But, he is insistent. So, I turn to some Tchaikovsky piece and laugh. Not a chance I can play that, or anything that closely resembles that in less than 6 to 8 months. He stares at me in anticipation. So I begin my journey. And by journey, I literally mean journey. Too slow reading notes, too slow looking for keys, too slow getting the tune out. This is clearly unacceptable to him who then weighs in with an “allegro!”  Ugh.  He wants it faster.

Fortunately, he wasn’t too demanding. The sound that came out of the piano that day sounded not much different than the sound of a cat walking across the keys. But I gave it the try – and he seemed content enough with that.

I gave The Baby Einstein Company a hard time in an earlier post, but I will say that the show Little Einsteins, which has an artist and composer of the day, has certainly struck the right cord with the Little Man.  He loves all of the great composers and all of the great artists.  Nice to get away from letters, numbers and planets from time to time.

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