Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parenting Suprises

Antiques-hated them! My mother loved antiques. Driving vacations turned into buying trips. We stopped at every barn and house with an "Antiques" sign in the front  yard.  My childhood memories of vacations are of climbing around in someone's attic when I'd rather have been eating ice cream and swimming at the beach.

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!


RHome410 said...

Nurturing our children and supporting them in following their talents and interests is a joy and a privilege. Seeing them involved in careers they can get up and love doing every day, I can imagine, would be so great! (Mine aren't quite there yet.)

I know some parents who 'disallowed' their daughter to study music in college (she's SO talented at voice and multiple instruments), because it wasn't on the list of majors that would likely lead to a job that would repay college loans fast enough. Yikes.

Thanks for sharing your kids' talent!
And welcome back. Hope things are well with your dad.

Low Tide High Style said...

It's funny how the things we instill in our children can sometimes seem so distant and when we least expect it they rise to the surface and shine through! Those are wonderful moments. When our children put their own spin on their experiences growing up and move on to live their own lives. Clearly your son carried the love for music you gave him as a child throughout his life, and I'm sure he and his wife will pass that love along to their own children. They are clearly both very talented individuals and have bright futures ahead of them!

Great post and thank you for the shout out!

Kat :)

laxsupermom said...

How wonderful! You must be so proud of him - having the conviction to follow an artistic path takes courage. They are both so very talented. Thanks for including the audio clips.

Jen Kershner said...

Just what I needed to hear. It's good to know, as the mother of a 17 year old daughter, that some on what I've been trying to teach her is getting through! You must be very proud.

Cotehele said...

Rhome, Your children are fortunate to have an excellent start and supportive parents. They will fly soon! I am so sorry the young woman has not had the change to pursue her dreams. Hopefully in future she will study music. Most musicians have a 'day job' as well as performing professionally.

Dad is about the same. Home health care is working with him (PT and OT) to help with strength and mobility. Blood sugars are still a bit low sometimes. Thanks for asking.

Cotehele said...

Kat, I believe that is why volunteering and community service is critical as well. We each have unique talents. It takes a village to have a healthy and happy community.

Marysol said...

You may not see me, but I'm giving you a standing ovation. Excellent post.

Like your son, our daughter's had many interests, mostly in music. I was her private chauffeur to violin classes, choir, etc. Yet, she's still trying to find her way.
It is my hope her story will have the same happy ending as Andy's.

How proud you must be!

rita said...

Hi, Cotehele!
Just curious as to why your kitchen changed homes?
Have a great rest of the weekend.

Cotehele said...


Thanks for making the leap!

The word at the first URL spelled kithen rather than kitChen. It drove me crazy once I realized it was spelled wrong. I changed it for me. :-). It probably was a misguided move, but with only a few followers my rationale was now is better than later to move it.


Gena @ A Bluebonnet in Beantown said...

I'm late to the party as usual. You must be so proud of Adam! How awesome that he's following his dream, and that you gave him the foundation to do just that. My son's currently taking jazz guitar and loves it. I have to share the audio clips with him!