This I Believe

Christine - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: parenthood
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Sometimes I love my parents. Sometimes I hate my parents. I always believe in my parents.

I was introduced to the metronome when I was six years old. The black box with a blinking, red light produced an obnoxious click. I didn’t understand how a tiny box would help me play my piece better. I fought with the metronome constantly because we never agreed on the tempo. I wanted to express my feelings by slowing down and speeding up, but the metronome wouldn’t let me. Sometimes I became so irritated that I would slam the metronome against the wall in an attempt to make it stop. It never did.

Finally, I decided that I didn’t need the metronome, so I threw it in my closet. I had confidence that I could master the piece on my own. The independence was refreshing, and everything was going fine until my lesson.

My piano teacher lectured, “Use the metronome, Christine. It’s there to help you!” When I got home, I obediently used the metronome according to my teacher’s instructions. Practicing with the metronome was tedious, but I continuously practiced with it for three months. I won the state piano competition that year. Many of my former mistakes and problems, such as rushing, were fixed with the help of the metronome.

My parents have rules. I fight with my parents about the rules. We never agree. I want to sleepover at my friend’s house. My parents say I have school tomorrow. I want to go to the mall. My parents say I have to finish my homework first. I get irritated.

“I hate you Mom! Stop controlling my life!” I scream as I slam my bedroom door. My parents don’t listen.

My parents set limits and boundaries on what I may do. They are a metronome that guide my life. They structure me by providing the foundation of my morals and values. They are there to help me fix my problems and mistakes.

All parents have rules for their children. They restrict. They constrain. They choke. They help. Children loathe their parents because they want to be relieved of their parents’ tyranny. They want to experience the independence of making their own rules. I wanted to have the independence of playing my piece without the steady beat dictating my tempo. Using a metronome was tiresome, and there was a temptation to turn it off; however, I kept it on because I finally realized that it was there to help me play better. Parents enforce rules to help their children succeed. When I am ready, the metronome can be turned off. When children are ready, their parents will cut the umbilical cord. Until then, children need to believe in their parents.