Cheryl's Blog

The perpetual dance of now and then

Never in a million years would I have expected to have a chance at a new childhood experience at sixty-four, but that’s exactly what happened.

My mom came to visit for a few days, which is a rare treat. At eighty-seven she’s quite fond of staying home where she has all the creature comforts she needs to feel safe and cozy. But lately, after losing both her cats within four months of each other, she’s begun to venture out a bit now that she’s free from worrying about leaving her “kids.”

She arrived on Thursday and as we were making plans, I told her I had a piano lesson on Friday afternoon I couldn’t miss. “Oh, that’s okay, honey,” she said without skipping a beat, “I’ll go with you.”

Go with me? I said, surprised by her response. But it’s an hour long and you’ll be bored.

“No I won’t sweetheart,” she assured me. “I’ll be watching you play and it will be fun!”

Hmmm. After six months of piano lessons, I’ve learned a good amount of Stairway to Heaven but it’s still pretty rough so I knew my playing wouldn’t be recital quality. That said, taking my mother with me to a piano lesson at sixty-four years old was too good an opportunity to pass up. Not only would it be hysterical to walk into a waiting room with parents whose kids were between three and twelve years old, it would also be a chance to have a childhood experience I’d never had before.

So that’s what we did. On Friday afternoon, we walked in and found a dad sitting on the sofa waiting for his three-year-old. Mom and I sat in nearby chairs, smirked at each other, and waited our turn. When Josh (my teacher) came out to get me, I introduced him to my Mother. We laughed but quickly got down to business (Josh is a serious musician 😀).

I sat on the piano bench and instantly became ten years old. I couldn’t remember the notes, fidgeted in my seat, and I kept apologizing for messing up. When I finally eked out a couple of bars, I heard my Mother say, “You’re doing great, honey,” and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The adult “me” was amused by the situation while the little girl beamed with pride, overwhelmed by the joy of being seen by her Mom. I guess we never outgrow the desire to make our parents proud.

When the lesson finished and we headed for the door, I felt so lucky to still have Mom with me, and for the chance to share a unique experience. I slipped back into my adult body while she said goodbye to Josh, until I heard her say, “You’re cute. Cheryl, don’t you think he’s cute?”

Yup. Life is a perpetual dance between now and then. No sooner did the words leave her mouth than I was right back to the blushing ten-year-old who now wanted to be anywhere else but with her Mom 😀.



P.S. – If you’re in the Newburyport area, my husband Michael Gerrish will host an evening of intuitive readings this Friday, May 10th, to support our local theater, The Actor’s Studio. All proceeds will fund the wonderful children’s programs and adult performances. You can learn more here.