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Friday, August 19, 2011

Parenting and career advice dilemma

My mother bought me sheet music for Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata when I was 14, and pronounced her wish. She wanted me to choose the career of a classical pianist. My father, however, was quite mad at me for wanting to become a musician to begin with. "Why can't you choose an academic path?" he growled. "Your marks are so good. It would be easy for you, and your income would be guaranteed!" I tried telling him it was too late, my career choice had been made. A singer-songwriter it was, and he shouldn't have anything to whine about for it was him, a musician, who had me record my first single when I was six years old, for God's sakes! "We just want what is good for you", they both grumbled. " But you do what feels right to you. As long as you don't marry a bass player."

And they were right. I should have practiced that piano. I should have pursued my studies. (And I shouldn't have run off to the other end of the world at the age of 19 with a guy I had met a month before.) But why, oh why is it that we truly understand these valuable pieces of advice only when we have kids of our own? Unlike my father, I will probably want my child to become a musician. But if life goes as it always does, she will come to me one day with a big smile on her face and exclaim: "Mom. I've decided! This is my true calling!" "What is, dear?" "To become an engineer!" And I will lecture her for a while, not understanding her decision, but in the end I'll give in. "OK, darling. I just want what is best for you. But by all means, do what feels right to you. As long as you don't run off with a circus performer."

I babble about this now, since my parents are coming over tomorrow to stay with me and my family for a spell. I love them so much, and I intend to tell them they were right about pointing out those career options, however in vain. But they did fail miserably in one aspect of my upbringing.

I've been in a relationship with a bass player for the last ten years and I've married him, too.

1 comment:

  1. Choosing the academic path does not guarantee an income, though. Take it from a comrade who has two MAs and more years of study behind her than she cares to remember. :)

    And say hello to your lovely folks.