This is the first day of the TV turn-off week at our school, and it taught me why we usually have the TV on. TV turn-off week also turns off our ability to escape and deny bad vibes in the family. Lest the reader think I’m being horribly pessimistic, good feelings usually return after the third day of this exercise. In this particular version, we tried to play chess and they expressed their resentment of a game they didn’t much like but played in order that I might have a good opinion of them. That’s not really how I feel; I’d love them regardless of their chess aptitude. But the kids thought that’s what I feel, so there is some reality to that sentiment. Nonetheless, that ended the game of chess but not before big brother decided he could get farther against me than little brother could. That ended the exercise.

Fortunately, when it comes to hiding from my family stress, the cello is always there to help me pretend I’m some sort of budding musician instead of a beleaguered father trying to hold down a job while avoiding the resentment of co-workers for not being in the office as much as he’d like because of said family commitments.

As we’ve discussed here a few times, practicing under a cloud of denial doesn’t usually lead to a great practice. However, I did manage to get a couple of hours in. It was mostly review of the previous week’s work; I don’t like to cram in new material the night before a lesson. Thus, it was 90% minuet and 10% Kol Nidre, and a teeny bit of the fingering for #42 so that I can at least ask some intelligent questions about it.

On the positive side of the family ledger, I finished the day by reading a bit of Homer’s Odyssey (via Edith Hamilton) to the kids. They asked for it. Begged, even. I’m not jesting.
They say my voice is soothing. Lots of people have said that to me, but I’m not sure I get it.