Bloggers have been complaining about listening to Christmas music at the mall or in any store they go in. Perhaps it is that I just don't get to the store very often or that I am oblivious, but I haven't really noticed this phenomenon. My own home, on the other hand, has been filled with Christmas music lately.
My son With-a-Why has been practicing like crazy this week. I think he wants to surprise his sister with some music when she comes home. The first song I keep hearing is a piece that his piano teacher chose for him, the Ukrainian Bell Carol. I find this music very soothing while I am grading papers, or procrastinating grading papers by staring mindlessly out the window at the snow-covered woods behind my house. The other thing I keep hearing is music that he picked out, music that his older siblings are helping him learn. It's the score to A Charlie Brown Christmas arranged by Vince Guaraldi. The piece that With-a-Why especially loves, and plays over and over again, is the piece that Schroeder plays on his piano that causes the whole Peanuts gang to dance like crazy. I admit that I never get tired of hearing it.
When With-a-Why gets home from school, he walks over to the piano and starts playing without even sitting down or taking his coat off. Neighbor Girl, who is younger and gets off the bus with him because her parents are both at work, stands at his elbow and gazes at him with adoration.
Of course, I have also to listen to Boy in Black's constant drum practice. If you are imagining something like the music the Little Drummer Boy plays for Baby Jesus, think again. He's got not some little tiny soft drum but a full set. And he plays them about ten feet away from the desk where I am grading papers. He does have SoundOff pads but he doesn't like to use them.
Yesterday, he told me his drum teacher recommended that he buy some ear protection.
"Like the kind of ear muffs your grandfather wears when he uses his chainsaw?" I asked.
"What about the rest of us in the household?" I asked.
He paused. "Well, you can buy as many pairs as you like."