In my imagination, somewhere in Heaven there is a production line where earthbound children receive brains. But, God, in his incomprehensible wisdom has done something inexplicably strange and puzzling. For reasons that escape mere mortal understanding, He doesn’t package common sense and brain matter together. You would think that He would know that if He doesn’t balance these things out, children will do some very strange things—and they do.
The prompt for this musing was the day he decided to write music. He has never had music lessons; although he and we are trying to find a way to fit them into his already crowded schedule. At school, traveling music teachers introduce the children to violins, drums, winds, brass, etc. Each type of instrument receives several dedicated weeks of instruction. Casey loves the days the music teacher arrives. He particularly liked the violin and drums.
These experiences have prompted him to sit at our piano and compose. He has positioned a notebook on the rack where he writes the notes as he listens to what he plays. I have been excited about this interest and what may be a natural ear for the beautiful. That would be wonderful.
So, I let him alone while he creates little tunes and, as I listen from other rooms, wonder if this is a new Mozart being born. Surely he would be nothing less.
Then came the day I noticed that he was sitting at the keys with a black, wide nibbed, indelible marker in hand. Knowing that he had not been writing in his notebook with this, I wandered over to see what was happening. This is what I saw:
Along with 6, 4 and 2, were numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7. I was transfixed!--Intelligently asking him “what are you doing?” Being very bright, he did pick up on the fact that gramma was somewhat upset. I can say though that I did remain relatively calm which is sort of my MO with larger things. It is small inconveniences and misbehaviors that tend to set me off. This was too far off the scale for anger. Although, I did have a sense that we were destined to have this little ditty forever implanted on the piano.
Fortunately friends came to the rescue. Palma from Palm Desert said to use toothpaste; Sheena from Canada said alcohol. Since these were not true ivory keys but whatever synthetic is used, I tried both of these remedies and they both worked well; however, the alcohol was much easier and faster. A few swipes and the keys were like new. Casey was relieved; I was relieved and he is back at the piano.
Of course, there are myriad other examples of this disconnect from common sense. Multi-tasking is an impossible endeavor. Figuring that if one sock is to go into the laundry, the other should too doesn’t compute. And I could go on but………I sense that this resonates with anyone with a nine-year-old. Maybe Casey is not so different. Maybe this is what’s called normal. Do you think?