When I was in the fifth grade of elementary school, the 12:30 bell marked the end of reality and the beginning of paradise: recess. My classmates and I would storm the halls toward the freedom of the glass double doors, and we would flock the patched grass of the open field. Teams were chosen; a quarterback assigned, and we would engulf ourselves in a triumphant thirty minutes of touch football.
As the pee-wee fall season of football rolled around the corner, the air was filled with talk of positions and expectations. “I’m going to play running back.” “Well the Eagles will win this year anyways; they have like four sixth graders on their team!” After inhaling this flow of information, I proceeded home to exclaim to my parents that I was going to sign up. Little did I know my mother had other plans in store for me- none of which indicated the scoring of a touchdown.
Among the top of my mothers’ list of reasons were my Tuesday-Thursday private piano lessons. Being a music teacher, she felt obligated to instill some form of musical background into my athletic driven mind. This would be my third consecutive year of lessons, and my fourth public recital was approaching soon.
I was devastated, torn, embarrassed; how was I ever going to explain this one to my friends? How could my own mother deprive me of my greatest passion? How dare her! How was I to become an NFL superstar if I sat out my vital fifth grade year? Despite my feelings of anguish and my persuasive pleas, my mother refused to retract her decision. My attempts on third grade pee-wee glory had been officially extinguished.
As I glance back and chuckle at this memory, I realize that I not only learned a lesson in obedience, but one of balance. The following years of my life consisted of sweat drenching practices, gut wrenching losses, and unforgettable football seasons. Piano practices ended after entering middle school. My path of athletics was carried out, and my passion for sports was no longer neglected. But I will always remember my second place finish in a local piano solo competition. A jazzy version of the “Star Wars Theme” earned me a red ribbon and twenty dollars.
I believe in the importance of a balanced upbringing. Although reluctant to adhere to my mothers’ decision, I now appreciate the musical background that it has given me. When you are young you do not know what is best for you, and your interests tend to guide you in only one direction. Parenting is a key component to a balanced life, and I appreciate the value my parents held in shaping me into a well rounded individual.
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