Truth be told, I’ve been feeling extra stressed out about St. Patty’s Day.
Last year, the idea of making a quick jaunt to the grocery store to pick up cabbage and potatoes was abruptly shattered, and I still haven’t returned to any semblance of “normal” grocery shopping. PTSD.
But the most depressing part was realizing that my excessively dark worldview was actually justified. Just because I tend to be a cynic doesn’t mean that I actually want people to be that bad.
Anyway, my tradition is to pull out my Irish cookbook and make something authentic for St. Patrick’s Day. This year, I’m putting currants in the soda bread — I’m not actually sure if I’ve ever had currants before, so it should be fun. I know that at least one child will refuse to touch it on principle.
This year, we bought the barley well ahead of time.
Also starting the day off with Irish coffee, because fuck it.
I’ve been practicing the piano every day since we got one last October.
I’m totally hooked.
Heck, I was even tempted to write about Alice learning how to play in AatW, but I couldn’t get it to properly fit — that’s how much I’m loving it.
When I was a kid, I got through level three before quitting lessons, so I’ve been getting myself back up to speed over the past few months. Several days ago, I started practicing level 4 songs (oh ho ho!). They’ve also been getting stuck in my head pretty badly, so playing piano is becoming almost as compulsory as writing.
I’m doing this “mom style,” of course, with either a baby in the carrier, or a toddler on my lap — though occasionally I get to be free to focus on what I’m doing.
I’ve given myself the goal of being able to play every song in the lesson books that I’m following, but since I’m teaching myself, I’m definitely spending a lot more time on the songs I like while giving a cursory nod to those I don’t. I’m also skipping around a fair bit; that’s how I do things.
Through happenstance, we ended up with a free piano.
My husband and I have been jokingly referring to it as the ‘biggest mistake of our adult lives’, since the children have been excitedly pounding on the keys every chance they get. My husband taught our 8-year-old how to play ‘Mary had a little lamb,’ I taught her ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’, and we’ve been listening to her adorable little recitals several times a day ever since.
I can still slowly plink my way through simple songs, even though it’s been close to 20 years since I took lessons. At least I still remember how to read sheet music.
I’m wondering how feasible it is to fit in practice sessions every day when I have five children, a bunch of other hobbies and responsibilities, and the holidays are quickly approaching. But, at the same time, it feels wonderfully good to have my fingers dancing with the music.
Because it’s 2020.
(Seriously, things are getting weird around here).
So, this year I’ll be learning how to play Christmas carols.
I’ve come to think of this as the theme song for Alice and the Warden.
I did not know I needed this in my life until suddenly here it was.