Where the Heart Is: Can’t let go? Let it be.

Do you have one of these in your house?

It sits around doing nothing. It refuses to let you live vicariously through it, or to provide even a modicum of the bragging rights you so crave. But it’s kind of cute so you think you’ll keep it.

No, I’m not talking about a teenager.

When my daughter was in first grade almost 20 years ago, my parents – perhaps guilt-ridden that they failed to develop my hidden musical talents – gave us a used piano for Christmas.

Knowing nothing about pianos, I chose one whose distressed blonde wood fits nicely with our Mexican decor.

And who could blame it for looking distressed? It apparently had spent its previous life at a school patiently tolerating a drumbeat of little fingers. The classroom number on its back was our first clue.

Still, with a good tuning the lovable workhorse plodded on.

Much to her mother’s delight, Erin took to the piano like a dog to a bone. For about two years. Then she decided she would rather eat broccoli than practice.

While still in the denial stage of grief, I urged her onward: Ask any adult what they most wish they could do! Play the piano, they’ll tell ya!

Then one afternoon I was in my office savoring the sweet sounds of, more or less, Beethoven’s “9th Symphony” when suddenly a cacophonous clang erupted. I poked my head out to find Erin face down on the keyboard, sobbing dramatically.

Acceptance quickly set in, yet grief lingered.

But, hey, all was not lost! My son Matt would soon reach piano-learning maturity! Hope springs eternal!

Sadly, Matt’s interest, if you can call it that, waned allegro.

He eventually, by choice, moved on to the guitar – which thankfully stuck. Word of advice to piano shoppers: Beginner guitars are a lot less expensive and a lot more portable.

Fourteen years after the second swan song, our adorable piano silently soldiers on in the entry hallway. Lucky it fits nicely with our Mexican decor.

On rare occasion, a visitor with skills briefly…

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