Tuesday: I had plans to go to a meeting at 6:30 tonight, so I come home around 4:30 to practice before dinner. I had told M about the schedule change in the morning.
When I walk in the door, M and her summer nanny, Lily, are sitting at the kitchen table, coloring. M jumps up, walks to me, and says brightly, “I have a surprise for you! It’s in the den.”
I walk into the den, and she has set everything up for her lesson — her stool and footstand are out, and her guitar is in its stand. My guitar case is also out.
Me: You set everything up for your lesson. Is that the surprise?
Me: What a great surprise!
This was all-the-more unexpected because M had been especially passive-aggressive in the morning when it was time to brush teeth — she had refused to stand up so I could reach her easily with the toothbrush. I actually had to tell Lily, when she arrived, to wait on the porch until M let me brush her teeth. (M then promptly cooperated.)
The substance of our practice was actually so-so. We worked mainly on Meadow Minuet, and M’s note accuracy left much to be desired. But it was clear to me that she knew when she was making a mistake, and she did a lot of things well. She was also excited to give a concert for her grandma, who arrived at around 5:30 to take over so I could go to my meeting.
But nothing takes away from the sweetness of M’s surprise. Given how much conflict we often have over lessons, I’ve got to treasure days like this and to hope that more will be coming.