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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Wednesday, September 21

Another first

Tonight was another first for the Thomas family: Finn's first piano lesson! Having well rounded children is important to Jim and me including exposing them to music and instruments. Since I took piano when I was young, I knew I wanted my kids to learn how to play (if not well, at least to be able to read music and understand the concept). I'd always heard that 2nd grade is the best time to start but I had NO idea how to go about finding a piano teacher (unfortunately, while my friend Andrea was a music teacher and piano teacher, she lives in Plymouth and has four small children...needless and sadly to say, NOT an option!).

There was a listing in the Community Ed booklet this fall, so I thought it would be perfect. Until I realized they charge more than I was willing to pay. But I should know better than to worry and remember that God has a plan. I was having a play date at my friend Rochelle's house and she mentioned that her girls were starting piano lessons at our church! Perfect. But she was pretty sure the teacher's schedule was full. Argh! So I got the teacher's contact info and she said that she did have one opening at 5pm on Wednesday. Done, we'll take it. Since this was late Tues that we talked, we decided to wait until this week to start.

One hurdle done. On to the next. We all know and love Finn. But knowing him the way I do, I KNEW he wouldn't want to go to piano lessons. The lessons were new. He didn't know the teacher. He'd never played before. He'd never been to the room the lessons were in. Etc. I know this is how his brain works. So I mentioned it last Tues and almost every day with a mini-fit as his response every time. I "reminded" him not to terrorize him but to get him used to the idea so it didn't feel so "new" to him. Even on the way there tonight, he was like, "I don't like piano. I don't want to go. This is boring." Etc. I asked him if he wanted me to sit with him during his lesson since it was his first and he said yes. As we were walking in, I pulled out a tool we used to use with him WAY back in the NE Mpls days. I said, "Finn, I know how you feel about going to this lesson but I need you to participate right, all the way and with a happy heart."

And he did! He did SO well. I mean, I was emotional during his lesson! He paid attention. He didn't fidget. He answered her questions. God is good and really does answer prayers. As parents, Jim and I struggle with Finn's behavior (reactions) so often, that I realized I sometime walk around with a "cringe" feeling, just waiting for his next fit. But not only didn't it come, he had FUN! And learned how to play a song before his first lesson was over (albeit a four measure song, but a song nonetheless!). On the way to the car, he told me five times how much he didn't like it. But then I started telling how fun it was for me to watch him and to see how good he was at it and I think he realized that he DID have fun!And she was GREAT with him (also, we found out she is his best friend's aunt, so that may have helped ;)  By the time we got home, all he wanted to do was play his song for daddy, which he did!

I know this is a little thing. I mean, it is piano lessons after all. But it was just a really good experience and I needed a "win" with him. I hope he likes it and excels at it, or at least tolerates it until I'm comfortable letting him be done. After watching that lesson, I think I may want to do lessons again! I haven't played in almost twenty years but I didn't realize how much I missed it until I was there. My grandma started taking piano lessons late in life and is now an avid player. And while I may be an old dog, it isn't a new trick for me since I took almost ten years of lessons when I was young. Hmmm...we'll see!

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