There’s nothing harder than standing by helplessly while something horrible happens to an innocent child. You want to reach out, to make things better, but there’s nothing you can do.
I’m going through this heartbreaking scenario even as we speak. Type. Whatever.
I am the godstranger for the world’s cutest kid. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll just refer to her as Anna.
Anna’s mom and dad are terrific people. They’re wonderful parents and they’ve done a great job of raising the kid, who is somewhere between 2 and 16. I’m not good at gauging ages.
But somewhere along the they’ve done a horrible thing. Scientology? Worse. Polygamist cult? Worse. Hockey Daughters for Sarah Palin 2012 Mobilization Task Force? Worse. San Francisco Giants fan? Well, not that bad. But they’re forcing her to engage in an activity I fear will leave her scarred for life.
Playing the piano.
I know, I know. You’re saying how can this sort of thing be allowed in America? But it’s not really America, it’s San Francisco. Apparently entire hordes of kids there are forced into this activity, not unlike the sweatshops in China that crank out my beloved Asics Piranhas. Only these kids don’t make 4 cents an hour.
It’s not even like they don’t know better. Her dad, whom I will refer to as Brian, is a guitarist. He should know that all you need is an old Gibson, three chords and attitude. Sure, you can say that she’s just dabbling, but those F sharp diminished lessons won’t go away. One day when she’s saying “G C D, Daddy, is that really all there is?” don’t blame me.
I suspect her mom, who I will call Jami, is largely to blame. As one of the last crew members on the SS Journalism, she likely is trying to thrust the child into becoming a child prodigy to cover the bills. This would explain her recent attempt to sell Anna as a member of an all-kid Devo cover band (pictured at left). Shameless.
Being a state away and incredibly lazy, there is nothing I can do. But I lie awake at night fearing for her well-being. First it’s Chopsticks. Then Chopin. Next thing you know, she’s playing “Tiny Dancer” four hours a night at a Ramada Inn in Oakland. The humanity.
But what can you do. I’m just a godstranger. Maybe she’ll hate the piano. Maybe the guitar will call to her from the other room. She’ll take up the harmonica instead. Or the bongos. Or cowbell. Anything but piano. Please, dear God, don’t let her become a (shudder) pianist.
If not, there’s still plenty of time for her to discover Scientology …
Photos used without permission. Hey, it’s the Internet.