Monday, November 01, 2010

Fall without the colors


The fall colors are disappointing here this year due to lack of rain, apparently.  This view outside of my house this morning is about as colorful as it gets this year.

Yesterday I heard a choir singing Brother James' Air.  It was a trigger taking me back to my childhood.  I was probably around 11 years old when I was chosen to sing in a children's choir with kids from all over New York State.  We sang Brother James' Air.  I remember that song and all the others in great detail.  Unlike most children's choirs, we sang in 4 part harmony rather than all singing the same line, and I can still hear it clearly in my head.  (We must have rehearsed a lot!)

However, I was not at all happy about being selected for that choir.  I didn't like being told what to do in general and specifically, I didn't like to sing!  (I wanted to play a woodwind instrument.)  I resented being part of that choir, even though my school music teacher treated it as a huge honor.

I had to travel to a faraway location somewhere in New York State for the ordeal.  My mother had packed me a brown bag lunch, and in it she had placed some really great candy from a shop in Manhattan, her favorite shopping destination.  The taste of that candy lingers to this day, and it was the highlight of the event.  I was a shy child and had nobody to talk to the whole time.  There was nobody else from my school. 

During the dress rehearsal I was horrified when kids started fainting.  I'm not sure if they were nervous or hot from the bright lights, or unstable on the risers we were standing on, but the young singers were dropping like flies.  I was terrified that they'd start throwing up.  By the end of the dress rehearsal, very few kids were still standing and singing.  I am glad to say that I was one of them. 

In retrospect, I see that the candy wasn't the only notable aspect.  I think it's pretty amazing that the music, every last detail of it including Latin texts, stayed with me all these years.

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Yesterday my iPod Touch was pronounced dead by The Child and myself after repeated attempts at resuscitation..  Anyone who has an iPod Touch knows that they're expensive, and I was not at all happy.  I also had a lot of music on it which I used for jogging.  The loss of my iPod Touch also meant the cessation of my exercise routine.  The whole deal was depressing, since I really don't like being out of shape.  I debated with myself as to whether or not I'd be willing to jog using my iPhone to provide musical entertainment.  Since I had ruined a previous mp3 player by tripping and falling on a rocky surface while jogging with it, I decided against putting my phone at risk.

This morning I decided to have another go at the iPod Touch.  The only reason I have succeeded repeatedly in fixing my various electronic gadgets, including computer, is due to my obsessive persistence.  For reasons I cannot explain, my iPod Touch is now happily recharging, having been brought back to life by my persistence.

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There were many 12 and 13 year old boys in my house this weekend.  The Child is unlike me in so many ways.  He seems to be popular.  (I never was and never shall be.)  It's hard to tell where that comes from.  I guess upbringing may be a part of it.  The Child was brought up believing in his own value.  I was not. 

Most single parents probably feel guilty the way I do for not providing their child(ren) with a 2 parent family.  In my case, the problem is exacerbated by the lack of any support system whatsoever.  My closest relative lives 600 miles away, and The Child is truly not known by any extended family including grandparents.  (My father is his only living grandparent, and my father has shown no interest whatsoever in his only grandson.) 

Yet somehow The Child has developed a social ability far surpassing mine.  Maybe it's genetic; maybe it's due to the fantastic, carefully selected babysitters I've hired over the years who have taught him how to get along with people.  I'm just glad that the child can enjoy the popularity which always eluded me.

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5 comments:

Annie said...

Dear Betty,

4 part harmony is so pretty. Some things DO stay with you forever - clearly your love of music began in you soul quite young.

Congratulations on getting your ipod touch working again - here's a thumbs up to perisistence!

A a huge round of applause and pride for raising your son to KNOW he has value, and to choosing the babysitters that would also encourage his ability to socialize happily:)

Your relatives may be absent or fools. You have balanced that by giving your child a comfort level with others that you (as of yet) are often too shy to trust or do yet.

moni said...

Well Betty, the photo is very pretty. I live in the desert and we get very little Fall color. So glad that you were able to get your ipod working again. I have already figured out that you are a great mom and so naturally, your son is going to be a great kid.

Sideways Chica said...

So nice to hear your voice Betty - I just killed my iphone so I sympathize with your itouch predicicament. ;-(

Ciao for now...

Sideways Chica said...

BTW... "predicicament" must be a new teri word for "i" "icky" issues... just kidding. sloppy typo - so sorry chica. Using new mac and not used to the keyboard yet.

Big Dave T said...

Kind of embarrassed that it's been so long since I've visited here. Shame on me. I remember some school person trying to talk me into joining the choir at some point, though now that I read your blog I wonder if they were trying to get me to join for social reasons since I was a shy child too. Someone, I think my brother, once said that "children raise themselves." I think there's some truth to that when you think about it.