C. G. Cady Naegle / Family Activities / Music

Some rules are made to be broken

A piano recital when I was 10 years old

Cathy Cady at a piano recital in Walla Walla, July 1991

I have a personal rule not to say, “I told you so.”  I just don’t do it.  But sometimes it’s a very difficult rule to keep.

You see, I’ve been begging my husband for a piano for about 10 years now.  There’s always been one excuse or another.  No time, no room, who wants to move a piano, etc.  But the heart wants what the heart wants.  I’ve seen free/cheap pianos come and go and my heart has been heavy.  A piano just belongs in a home.  It just belongs.

About a month ago, a family in our church, the *Carter family, was moving and getting rid of their piano for free.  I talked to my husband, and he reminded me of all the same reasons we’ve always talked about, but something in me snapped that day.  I wanted the piano, and I was going to have it, by gum!

So against the advice of my husband, I welcomed the piano and made arrangements to pick it up.  My husband would have nothing to do with it.  This was my hair-brained idea, and he was standing firm that a piano had no place in our home.  In fact, the day I arranged to pick it up, he informed me he already had plans to help a family move, and he couldn’t help me anyway, even if he wanted to (which he didn’t).

The morning of the big move came.  I called my kids down and told them we were bringing a piano home.

“But we don’t have room for a piano!” my 15-year-old son, Randy, groaned.

From behind me, 13-year-old Cady chimed in, “Yes we do!  Right against that wall.” She pointed to the exact wall it was going on.

“You don’t have time to play the piano.  Dad bought you a guitar, and you haven’t even made the time to learn to play it!”

Cady was no longer behind me.  She was standing next to me, defending my honor.  “Of course she doesn’t have time to learn to play the guitar.  That takes hours.  But she can sit down for five minutes here or ten minutes there there to play the piano she ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO PLAY.”

6’1”-Randy was now staring down 5′-nothin’ Cady.  She was in front of me, her arms akimbo.

“It’s going to be such a pain to have to move this piano when we move again.” Randy asserted.

Cady practically roared in defense of all that’s beautiful and musical in the world. “Why would we cease to allow ourselves the joy of a piano just out of fear of a small amount of difficulty it may cause YEARS down the road??”

I stood up from tying my shoes and stepped between them with a wry smile.  “Hmm…  you’ve been listening to your father and I argue, haven’t you?”  I turned to Randy, “Don’t worry, son.  If the piano is so offensive to you, you don’t have to play it.  I won’t make you.”

Knowing his argument had done nothing, he gruffly mumbled, “Don’t worry, I won’t.”

And off we went to the Carter’s.  As we were in the car, I got a phone call from my husband.  I informed him I was on the way to pick up the piano, and sighing, he revealed that the family he was helping move in lived two doors down from the Carter’s.  Apparently he was going to be helping me move the piano.

We got the piano loaded into the trailer, and while a handful of men and I went back to our house, Scott dropped Randy and his friends off at the movie theater, promising to be back to help move the piano into.  The men I had organized and I handled, though, and in quick order, the piano was against the wall and the men were off on their own.

I had promised my 10-year-old and his cousin that we would play tennis, so immediately after moving the piano, we headed to the park, rackets in hand, with Cady and her friend.

While we were playing, Scott called asking where we were.  I told him we were playing tennis, and he should come over.  Since there were already 5 people there and only 1 court, he decided to stay home.

After I schooled the kids at tennis (I don’t believe in going easy on the kids.  If they’re going to beat me, they’re gonna earn it), we headed home.  Walking into the house, I was greeted by a surprise.  Scott was laying on the couch watching TV.  That was not the surprise:  music was already sitting on the piano.

“Scott?  Have you been playing the piano?”  I could see his mind racing, searching for the right words.

“Why would you say that?  I put the book on the piano so you could play.”  A very Daes Dae’mar response if I’ve ever heard one.  “I opened it to a really good song.  It’s one of my favorites.”  I raise my eyebrow.  “I knew you’d want to play right when you came home? No big deal.”

“You were already playing.  You were the first one to play the piano!”  All I got was a stutter and pointed stare at the TV in response.

After the kids had gone to bed that night, I was upstairs getting ready when I heard the piano plunking below.  I looked into the bed where Scott was already asleep and went downstairs to scold Cady.  The second surprise of the night wasn’t Cady, but Randy on the piano bench, tapping away.

I snuck down the stairs and behind him and right into his ear spoke, “Never gonna play the piano, huh?”  He jumped clear out of his skin and stumbled up the stairs.

I don’t believe in saying, “I told you so.”  I just don’t.  But my husband being the first to play the piano and my son’s not-so-sneaky playing it make it seem like some rules were made to be broken.

*some names have been changed to protect their innocence the part they played in this fiasco

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