Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Friday, November 20, 2009

Musically ingorant

I haven't quite figured out how it happened yet, but I somehow ended up with three kids who all love music. Not just listening to music, but playing it. This is strange because I have no musical talent whatsoever and neither does their father. Elementary schools now teach kids how to read music. This was something they didn't do when I was a kid. In fact, I still can't read music.

Our musical journey began when Jess was in sixth grade and wanted to play the flute. She has since expanded to play alto sax and baritone sax. She's also the drum major for her high school band. Then there's Richard who took a year of violin lessons in elementary school before switching to handbells and chimes for two years. He hasn't had music yet in middle school, but is looking forward to it. He still hasn't figured out which instrument he wants to play though. Sean has been begging for a drum set for several years. If you knew my youngest, you would understand that he doesn't need anything else to beat on to make noise. He also wanted to try violin, but I didn't believe he was mature enough to take care of the instrument. This year, he's finally calmed down enough that I'm letting him do handbells and chimes and he loves it.

Raising kids who know more than you do about a particular subject can be interesting. I enjoy learning from them and I think they enjoy knowing something that mom doesn't. Of course, it also has it's amusing moments.

Jess came home one day very excited about a new piece she was playing. It was more difficult than any she's played before. Jess normally talks fast, but when she's excited, I always have a hard time understanding her. I caught about every third word rushing from her mouth as she waved a piece of sheet music at me. I took the paper and looked at it.

"See how hard that is?!"

"Jess, this looks like a bunch of ants crawling on a page to me."

She grabbed the paper and rolled her eyes. She proceeded to point and explain the complexity of the notes and the piece as a whole. I didn't understand most of it, but was pleased she really knew what she was talking about. It's since been a running joke between us. If there are a lot of 'ants' in clusters on the page, it's usually a difficult piece.

Earlier this week when something similar happened with Sean. Driving home from school two days ago, he started talking about handbells and chimes practice.

"Guess what? We have a retard in music."

I shot him a look. "Sean Brendan! What have I told you about calling names?"

"No mom, I wasn't calling names. We really have a retard in music."

I shook my head. "Well you don't call them that. It's not nice. You know better."

"No, mom. It's not a person. There are retards in music."

I glanced at him out the corner of my eye. He nodded.

When Jess came home after school I decided to find out what Sean was talking about. "Jess, Sean tried explaining to me that they there are "retards" in music."

She laughed and shook her head. "Not retards, mom, ritards. It's spelled with an "i" and the accent is on the second syllable."

"Oh." I make it appoint to acknowledge whenever I make a mistake and immediately apologized to Sean for snapping at him about name-calling. Although, in my defense, Sean was never able to explain exactly what a "retard" was, so I didn't feel that bad about my behavour.

His response was typical of my kids. "Told you."

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