For years he has not-so-secretly harbored fantasies of Lizzie becoming a concert pianist. When she was in the womb, his name choice for her was Mendelssohn (we'll call her Mindy, he said). As soon as he was able, he enrolled her in private piano lessons, which she has dutifully attended for the past five years. Of course, he never bought her a piano, which was required after her first year of lessons, because he never had enough money. Oh, he had money to spend on new tattoos, new cars, and shiny new trinkets but a necessary accoutrement for her continued learning and growth? Nope, he couldn't afford it. So, my mother and aunt pitched in and bought Lizzie a piano.
As Lizzie has gotten older, her interest in piano has waned. She prefers violin and I support her interest. Her father does not. He is pressuring her to practice the piano more, play in more piano recitals, compete in more piano competitions and, frankly, Lizzie has reached her breaking point.
The final straw for me came the other night when he because frustrated with me because I refused to push our daughter to continue an activity she hates. I will not do it even though he claims allowing her to "quit" would be ruinous. I just don't see it his way - never have - because I know two important things:
- Kids should retain their right to choose within certain limits; and
- People are not static
What I can't seem to make him understand is that pushing our daughter this hard to do something she hates is causing her stress and damaging his relationship with her. And really what else am I to do but throw my hands up in disgust and withdraw her from lessons because, you see, I do listen to my child and, unlike her father, I actually want to her to be happy.