Tag: Music

Writer at Work: Meanwhile, Meet K J Dell Antonia!

Hello All.

While I get back into my blogging seat check out K Js work. She has a wonderful blog that you can register for at the end of this shared post. Enjoy this wonderful insight to the joy of moving the ball down the family field, everyday.

Sometimes it helps to celebrate the very little things.

Last night, as I closed the dishwasher, knowing that the last kitchen straightening was done, that I’d taken the final things off the counter and wiped the sink (the one thing the kids never manage to do when they clean up after dinner), I set its fancy timer and shut its door and happily said “Yay!”

My daughter happened to be standing there, and she looked at me in shock. “Yay what?”

Um, yay everything is done? Yay another pretty good day? Yay bedtime and more summer tomorrow? I don’t know. Just, yay.

I like to celebrate these little things, and apparently I don’t even try to do it in my head any more.

I’ve been talking a lot about How to Be a Happier Parent lately. I’m lucky–I get interviewed, get to be on some podcasts. I get to tell people about it. And they often ask, what’s one big thing you do differently? And I haven’t exactly said, well, I say “yay” when I load the dishwasher, but that is kind of it. It seems to be the side effect of Mantra #10: Soak up the good. I’ve been working to notice when things are going well, and it’s paying off, at least if you don’t mind becoming someone who says “yay” without thinking.

I don’t mind. Because I have a dishwasher, and healthy kids who mostly load it, and pretty much everything material that I need. Of course, there are little things that are less great, but as I learned while talking to a couple of pretty brilliant experts last year, they aren’t tigers. Most of the stuff that plagues me on a day-to-day basis just doesn’t meet tiger level. No bankruptcy, no death, no illness.

At least not right now. Because of course, bad stuff happens. Nobody gets to go through life without some extremely lousy miserable tiger-level stuff. But I’m not there as I write this.

So, yay. Yay for an ordinary night loading a dishwasher. I’ve had other nights where that was all I wanted to get back, so I’ll take this.

If that’s you too, say yay.

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Hey–I HAVE A BOOK COMING! How to Be a Happier Parent lands August 21, and you can absolutely pre-order it right this minute on IndieboundAmazon or Barnes and Noble.

If you feel like sharing this week’s e-mail, you can click HERE for a fun, customizable tweet about this post, or HERE for one about the 10 Mantras for Happier Parents. Also, Facebook for the POST, and Facebook for the MANTRAS. I’m always thrilled by the generous shares–you all are the best.

That’s it from me this week. If you’ve got a friend who’d love to get a vaguely sort of semi-weekly note about How to Be a Happier Parent (even when I’m not), please forward this, and if someone forwarded it to you, sign up here for more like this one.

KJ

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Little Drummer Boy? Nah, It’s All About the Little Cello Girl

After twenty plus years of living in New York City, I would like to  believe I don’t shock easily. I have kept a game face when the guy with the beat up saxophone comes into the subway train I’m riding in and proceeds to press all the keys with no rhythm, rhyme or reason, producing offensive honks and hoots to exort money…ah, I mean to elisit donations from passengers. I have managed to keep my head buried and focused behind a book when gymnastic, break dancers work their moves between subway stops, and passengers, landing inches from my feet. And in some cases, my lap. However, a recent photo sent by my nanny of Julia broke my streak.

The short of the long is, at the age of forty, I began studying the cello. I love its rich, lush sound—a tone my teacher once described as the closest in tonal quality to the human voice than any other instrument. While the act of playing gives me great satisfaction, I’m no Yo-Yo Ma. I just go at it in my living room, sans audience. And unless you’re hot-guy-single-guy, don’t even ask to listen in. In fact my daughter hasn’t seen or heard me play, for anther reason than shyness. Since Julia came into my life, my extra hours go to writing, not, at the moment, playing Bach.

Miss Julia's First Recital

So, a few Tuesdays ago, music class day on the Upper West Side, when a fresh new image landed on my iPhone, I didn’t even check it right away.( I was in a meeting.)  My phone always pings around 11:30, with an image sent from the nanny. But this shot made me gasp.

Look at that bow hand!

That posture!

I’d always had a little fanasty that one day, I’d play my full size cello, and my kid, a quarter-size model, that we’d create music together…seems like that vision is catching up to me. Sure, Julia might be sawing on might  a violin, and not a mini cello. Maybe. But either way it leads me to wonder what other tricks does Miss Julia have up her onesie.