Recently, Jen and Kat blogged about how society influences choices we make and places a value on those choices. Society's portrayal of women influences especially the young to make tragic choices. Much is portrayed as entertainment that confuses and demeans value. If raising children with a strong sense of self-worth is important to you, please visit Kat's blog, Low Tide High Style to view a documentary trailer. Unusual topic, but very meaningful to her and many of her blog followers, including me.
Jen choose to be a full-time mom using her talents to create a loving and enabling environment in which to raise her children. Modern society links career choices to personal worth, and careers that earn money have a higher value than those that don't. You can read Jen's post here. I believe there is nothing of more value and importance than loving, nurturing and raising one's children, even if it does not seem at the time one is making a difference. It's the choice I made when our only child, Andy, was born.
We learned that children develop strong personalities at a very young age. Temperament, likes, dislikes, and the effect of outside influences (read strong willed) emerge practically at birth!
When Andy was young, our family enjoyed many cultural, recreational and educational activities together: bicycling and travel, baking, reading, doing science experiments, and attending classical concerts and operas. At home, we listened to classical music all the time and watched Met opera broadcasts. Andy liked the swords and costumes in the opera as much as the music. :-) All was good, for awhile.
Then Andy was at that stage where going places and doing things with mom and dad were not cool at all. Teen years are challenging for parent and child. Teenagers want to fit in and enjoy things that friends are doing at school and in their neighborhood. Believe me, our son was the typical teenager making choices, developing his talents and creating his sense of self-worth. During those years we didn't think the early years at home had made much of an impression.
Participation in sports is king around here. Cultural activities, not so much. Andy didn't enjoy sports, especially team sports such as basketball, football and baseball. At our urging, he joined the track and cross-country teams a year and played on the tennis team two years.
Andy also made other choices that didn't include school extracurricular activities. BMX biking, skateboarding, rock music, and auto racing. He wanted a guitar at 15 and played in an ever-changing rock band for a couple of years. (The music was more noise than tune.) I drove him 50 miles to the guitar lessons for that!? Freshman, and junior years Andy played in the high school Jazz Ensemble. Then, in of those quirky little life moments, he tried and enjoyed classical guitar. His senior year he quit all his high school activities to focus on learning classical guitar.
To shorten the story, Andy majored in classical guitar performance in college.
Andy spent summers at Aspen Music Festival where he was a guitar student. Their career choice is to make their way in the music world. We would never have guessed music would be Andy's career choice. Parenting that gets through to the child isn't always visible.
Andy graduates from the Artist Diploma program in a few months followed by a move to Germany to continue music education Oh, I LOVE antiques now. :-) If my mom only knew . . .
Andy also enjoys composing. He wrote a little two-page piece for my birthday for flute and guitar. It's the best present he has ever given me. Here is a piece from their electronic band.
Electrical Guitar Quartet the last two years at university.
Kyle Gann: Composure for 4 guitars
Thanks for visiting!