September 28, 2018 By Sally Gripman

Yes I Do

Of the many opportunities I had presented to me as a child, there were two that I REALLY wanted, but was never allowed. My first “May I please . . . ” came after our fourth grade class saw a demonstration of musical instruments. The music teachers described the instruments and played selections for us to help us choose one for our instrumental lessons. The sound of the violin caught my interest so much I wanted to learn to make music like that.

That evening, during supper, I was so enthused about taking violin lessons I just assumed that I would be allowed to sign up. Not so fast. My mother gently explained that since our piano was not being used, I could take piano lessons instead. Well, I wasn’t too happy about that prospect. Piano lessons. Nothing more was said about the violin. Many years later, I found out that my dad had played the violin. His violin was restored and given to our first granddaughter who played that violin for several years.

The second concerned dancing lessons. Of course, ALL my friends took tap dancing, ballet or acrobatics. Not me. I was taking piano lessons! When I was in the fifth grade, I even cut out pictures from magazines of girls my age dancing. This did not impress my mother.

Finally, at age 50, I organized a tap dancing class with a group of friends. When I told my mom about the group, she said, “Oh, you really don’t want to do that!” I took a deep breath and replied, “I DO want to do this.” My mom was great; never again was the suggestion made about what I did not want to do.

A few years later, after I had made the declaration to my mom, I heard myself say to our daughter, Abbie, who was a student at Miami University in Ohio, “You don’t want to go to a jazz festival in New Orleans.” After hanging up, I was horrified to realize what I had said. I immediately called her back and apologized.


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