Friday I got a call from Aaron's music teacher that he did not complete his music project. It was due last Tuesday. They worked on it in class. She provided materials. I knew nothing about it.
I was so happy that I would be spending time this weekend making a musical instrument and composing a song. (The preceding sentence was sarcasm.) Because that was the whole assignment. And the finished instrument cannot look like the base material. For example, coffee cans have to be decorated.
I was so excited that I got to make music this weekend. Not.
I checkout the teacher's website and read the directions. I studied the how to make a drum page and thought I might have some ideas. But I wanted Aaron to do it on his own.
When Aaron got home from school, I interrogated him about his failure to complete the assignment. And like a lot of 11 year old boys (my twins were very much like this) he had no answer or explanation. Just a deer-in-the headlights-expression that I took as a major clue that his brain had stopped working. He had no ideas. None. He might have even forgotten his name. Apparently, he has started adolescence.
This time around I am not terrified by this revelation. Because I know it will pass in about four years--a very long four years.
Saturday Jim came home from running and announced he had solved the instrument mystery and got out an old milk jug. Aaron helped him cut it apart and throw on some rubber bands. The project included using a drill and tape. Except it didn't work.
I threw an empty shoe box at Aaron and told him to wrap some rubber bands around it after his dad cut off the cover. And we were all happy that an instrument had been born, (Note: my project did not require power tools. I'm just saying...)
And because that was so exhausting, we all took to our beds/television/xbox and let the subsequent steps of the project gel in our brains until today. Mother's Day.
Since the shoe box could not look like a shoe box, we started discussing disguises. Aaron suggested coloring it. Sounded really messy to me. He suggested stickers. Sounded like a trip to Michael's for me and I hadn't taken a shower yet. I suggested using the Sunday comics. Thus the box was decorated with a few strips of tape.
Aaron started writing his song, but he wrote on the bottom right hand side of the paper so I made him re-do it. He got another sheet of paper. He scribbled the numbers down that correlated with the rubber bands and I suggested he write more neatly. He got another sheet of paper. He copied down his first line. When he played it on his shoebox/rubber band instrument it didn't sound half bad. Then he added the second line and started writing it half-way down the page in the middle. I began to suggest he start over (perhaps with a piece of paper with lines) and decided I was stifling his creativity.
Now I'm wondering if Mozart's mother went through this with him as a child.
"Amadeus! Your treble cleft is all messy, re-write it!"
"Amadeus, that symphony would sound so much better if your posture improved!"
Aaron has written his first piece of music on Mother's Day 2010. And he's probably scarred beyond anything and will never again look at music in the same way. Another Mother of the Year moment.
Being a mom is so hard...