Piano girl

Apr 01

Piano girl



She didn’t want to dance on the piano because of pre-tweenage angst: “Everyone will be watching me,” she said with woe as she glanced around at the (seriously) eleven other souls on the second floor of FAO Schwartz.

It was all I could do to not roll my eyes.  I did the only thing I could think of to do in that moment: I put my mama foot down and I made her get on the piano.  “Seriously Maren, you have to do this,” I said.

At first she rolled her eyes.  Then there were even a few pitiful tears.  I got down on my knees and said, “Look kid, this is one of those seize the day moments.  Dancing on this piano is something that you will remember.  It will make you giggle.  It will be fun.  Trust me.”

She gave in.  She tentatively stepped on.  She stepped off,  and looked at me as if to say, “There.  I did it.  Was that enough?”

I took a deep breath and suggested she hop along to every fourth key down the length of the piano.  I wished for the millionth time that I had even an iota of musical talent so that I could play something other than Mary Had A Little Lamb on this piano and suggest something musical instead of athletic like jumping to every fourth key.  She sighed and did as I asked.

Then she hopped back the other way.

Then she grinned, and I knew I had her.

Then she ran down the length of the piano with abandon.

And then she danced.

She did a funny Irish-like jig.  She experimented with a few notes from songs she learned from SuperGramma.  She did an odd break-dance/splits/roll combination.  She twirled.  My heart soared as I watched her.  I was giggling watching her giggle.




Isn’t it funny how those things always seem to go together?

It was a marvelous transformation to watch.  She morphed her fear and self-consciousness into a giddy experience, and I was so proud of her.  I pushed her to do it, but she did it.  The joy she discovered was hers; she created it and freed herself to feel it.

I love that my girl learned a little bit about the rewards of risk-taking today on the FAO Schwartz piano.


  1. Marlayne Skeens /

    LOVE it !!!!!!! I want to jump on the piano !!!!!!!!! 🙂 What Fun <3

  2. Susan /

    What a beautiful story! You are such an awesome Mom!

  3. ShannonK /

    Way to go Mom! : ). I always say if it’s worth doing – do it scared – just do it!

  4. Sharon /

    Brave, free. joy ….sound like the words to a melody only Maren could play with inspiration from her brave, free, joy filled mom. Thinking of you two playing beautuful music in New York.

  5. Banita /

    Hey to Maren! Mom does know best!

  6. Kristin /

    Soooooo glad she went for it!! Sooooo fun!!!

  7. diane allen /

    OMG! You are such an amazing mother. I learn so much from you! As does the world! (Or the multitudes that follow you! 🙂 )

  8. Kudos to Mom! Kudos to Maren! Huzzah!! 😀

  9. Lisa Smith /

    so awesome. love.

  10. Latoya /

    Yay, Maren!!! : ) Yay, Jen…you are such an awesome mama! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Love & hugs to you both.

  11. Kathi Roth /

    You are such an awesome mama!!

  12. peggy /

    It was a pianoluscious moment of life!!! She squelched her fear and realized it resulted in pure joy! What a fun way to learn a difficult lesson of life. Well done, Mom!!!

  13. I am so glad you had the wisdom to push her to do it. She is so lucky to have you as her mother. The earth would be a better place if each of us had someone like you pushing us through scary storms and into the sunshine on the other side. 🙂

  14. Aunt annie /

    Whoopee for Maren! And bravo to you Jen for putting your “Mama foot down”.