I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.
Like many kids, even now, 5th grade meant I was finally old enough to join band! I don’t think there was every much question of what I would play: I was a girl – I wanted to play the flute!
Now I cringe at such a stereotypical choice, but it actually turned out to be a good one for me. I will never forget (nor will my mom, I’m sure) the day we went to the music store to get my first flute. It was a rental flute, but I didn’t care, it was mine! We also bought a “learning to play the flute” book and I couldn’t wait to tear into it.
And, in fact, I didn’t wait. When we were ready to go home, I climbed into the back of my mom’s red 1982 Mazda RX-7, pulled out the mouth piece, and started practicing my embouchure. I blew and blew until I figured out just how to hold my lips to make a really nice (and shrill) sound. Then, I put together the rest of the flute and proceeded to learn “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. By the time we’d driven the 40 minutes home, I had learned several songs and I was on my way.
I still can’t believe that my mom actually allowed this to happen. I can’t stand shrill noises when I’m outside. How did she ever stand to listen to a beginner flutist practice from the back of this (only in fire engine red):
She’s definitely a better man than I.
However she managed it, I like to think she was rewarded in the end because I took to the flute like a natural and had a fair bit of success and enjoyment with it. In fact, I even won my band’s Musician of the Year award that year.
So, just in case she hasn’t heard it enough: Thanks, Mom!
And now…I think I’ll go play my flute.