Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New beginnings ... or how I plan to get my life back

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to learn how to play the guitar.

She took lessons. She got pretty good, and she sang good too. A good combination for folk guitar.

When she was in college, guitar and singing were always a good way to meet new people in the dorm. During the summers, she worked in day camps, where guitar and kids' songs were a natural combination.

But then she grew up and put away those childish things. She got married and had babies and worked in the exciting but decidedly unmusical world of newspapers.

Funny thing about babies. They love music. Her babies went to Gymboree, where music and play were combined to make a fun time for all.

After her second baby was born, she figured out that she could work part-time at the paper and put her music skills to work by working part-time at Gymboree as well.

She was a popular teacher because she brought her guitar and a lot of energy to the musical part of the program.

She was also a popular mommy because she brought her guitar and her goofy songs and a lot of energy into her children's preschool classes.

Eventually, she had to make a decision between full-time newspapering and the satisfying but low-paying world of Gymboree. You can probably guess which one was the winner.

But the desire and the drive never went away. All through her children's school careers, she would sidle up to their teachers and say in a low voice:

"I play guitar. Can I come in and do music with the children?"

Teachers jumped up and down with delight -- and her musical career continued.

Marriage, divorce, remarriage, new baby, unpleasant ending to a marriage.

Money was tight, and preschool for the baby was expensive. So the mommy negotiated a deal with the director for a tuition break if she did a music class once a week for the whole school.

She loved sitting on the floor with the children, singing about the wheels on the bus and the ABCs and Tingalayo the wacky donkey and even about where you might put raviolis.

When the baby started kindergarten, she stayed at the preschool for actual dollars for another year ... and, of course, added the baby's kindergarten class to her schedule.

And then first grade.

And then second.

She taught those children every goofy (and curriculum-based) song she knew. They sang "It's a Small World" in 12 languages, including sign. She recorded each child, accompanied by her guitar, singing a special song for his or her mother for Mother's Day.

She was the cool music mommy.

Eventually, the school got a "real" music teacher, and the playtime she provided interfered with the pressures of the upper grades.

But the musical yearnings remained. As did the goofy songs.

Today, the "baby" is in eighth grade -- many years from those circle-time days.

And the mommy finds herself at a career crossroads.

Newspapers are a dinosaur in this internet-driven, technologically explosive age.

But music and preschoolers? A combination that will never die.

So this afternoon, the music mommy will return to the baby's preschool and talk to the director about a return engagement.

And possibly some referrals to other preschools.

And maybe, just maybe, an introduction to a renewed life.


Jenni said...

Oh Janet, that sounds like so much fun! I can't say all this post makes me think and feel, so I will just say that you are an inspiration. I want to be like you when I grow up:o)

Mandy said...

oooh yay, go you!!!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

You know I think this is your best idea. And, I think it will be so rewarding.

Around The Funny Farm said...

I love this post! My children know all kinds of goofy songs to due to me! lol

I think it would be rewarding too.


Tiggerlane said...

How incredibly cool would that be?!?!? Oh...I am so happy for you - hope you get an encore gig!

This really got me: "She recorded each child, accompanied by her guitar, singing a special song for his or her mother for Mother's Day."

How precious!

If I had to do it all over again? I would have definitely made a career in music...

Sandy said...

How terrific! Did you get the job?

Pamela said...

Karmyn & I were just talking about how fun it would be to get up in the morning and be excited about going to work. (we were talking about guys working on dinosoar bones - trying to figure out how to put them together)

I can't think of anything more fun and rewarding than singing with kids (& putting together dinosaur bones)

Huckdoll said...

Good for you, Janet. You sound wonderful and I would be honored to have you teach music to my kids. Would love it actually. Best of luck and be sure to let us know how it goes!

Sadie said...

How exciting!! I wish you the best of luck! It's such a marvelous idea!!!

Kaytabug said...

Such a fantastic post!

karisma said...

What a lovely story about a lovely mummy! You keep on singing, its good for the soul!

Cathy said...

Oh yeah. Preschoolers and music? That's a match that will always be there.
Sounds like a great idea and so much fun!

~JJ! said...

You deserve to have the job o your dreams...I'm rootin' for ya.

Karly said...

Good for you, Janet. I hope it all works out well! I can't imagine it won' obviously love it very much.

Phoenix said...

I'm so sorry about the layoffs....I'm a bit behind in my reading. But I super hope this works out for you. Your dream job sounds awesome.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I don't think you can ever go wrong following your passion. And this is so clearly yours.

What a great plan!

Mr Lady said...

You? Mother F%$#ing rock.

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