Our weekends have become a festival of stone, brick and mortor. The husband has decided to build walls. He has fixed the flagstone steps and buit a wall holding back the mulch from falling over onto his beautiful new steps. But now he has decided to create brick and mortor edgings in the backyard creating yet another architectural landscape. In fact between the fences, stone walls, hedgings we are very well protected from any invading hordes of Goths and Vandals. But for some reason it got me to thinking about archaeologists. See we live in a part of the country that has a long proud history of colonial settlement going back centuries before the American Revolution. There are always university projects around saving homesteads or digging up long lost walls and it is well know that the roads now traveled were once settler dirt paths. So I started thinking what would a future scientist think of our battlements. What would they try to suppose the use of so much stone and mortar in a relatively peaceful area and time actually meant. What this actually led me to was a wonderful memory of my youngest son.
Years ago we decided that the boys needed to take music lessons. They had viola lessons in school, the oldest one took to it quite well. What he didn’t take to was the performing. That made him very nervous. Which also led to him stopping orchestra in middle school. The orchestra teacher would not give him lessons if he did not perform. I said nothing, karma took care of her. When they reorganized the department she was the one not asked back.
On the other hand the younger son did not take to the viola but the performing he liked. That he just sat there in his seat because he never practiced and could not really keep up with the orchestra did not matter to him. He would stand up and take his bows anyway. My “Puck” loves applause. But I digress…
The boys decided that they did not just want to take the viola but the oldest wanted to study guitar and we felt that piano for the youngest with his weak motor control in his hands would help him build up his stamina. So of course, the oldest one really took to the guitar. Not the practicing mind you, but the lessons and the playing on his own terms. The truth is he wasn’t half bad. Not Frank Zappa good (I’m aging myself) by any means but descent enough that he got googly eyes from girls during music class in school. Just what is it about guitar players and teenage girls? Well he studied for four years and stopped. His Fender Stratocaster sits idle hoping that one day he finds his way back.
Now the youngest and his piano was another story. He really liked music theory and wanted to concentrate on composition so he could write the music for future video games. In fact what he learned during his piano lessons in theory came in handy in school. The music teacher was amazed at his knowledge and range and understanding. But the playing, that was another matter. It really was very hard for him. We tried to help him out with muscle balls for the hand, the piano teacher even found smaller pieces for him to play so he wouldn’t tire his hands out so much. Then after four years and so many hours he too quit his piano. It sits in his office, as a shelf for his most prized possessions. the steel sculpture he made in art class during middle school (which also holds the kippa his aide made him for his Bar Mitzvah), his paper mache sculpture from school as well as, magazines and gaming strategy guides, and of course, the latest book his brilliant aunt, my sister wrote. But lo and behold, what the piano also holds is a surprise.
One day I came into clean up his office and I found Krazyglued to the piano bench pipe cleaners, staples, paper clips. Now remember this was years ago so he was just into middle school (5th grade) at the time. “Excuse me,” I said in a rather nonchalant melodious voice, “what did you do to the piano?” Without missing a beat my youngest aspie said he had concocted a prank for future archaeologists. When they excavate our house in a thousand years (he actually had the number of years figured out) and find the piano with all this stuff glued to it, they will have no idea what it would have been for and they will spend umpteen number of hours trying to figure out what is the meaning of all that mess. So, my youngest aspie, music theory lover, nonpiano playing, music creating child decided to spend his time, pranking people from the future. By the way, its still there.
So now we go boldly into the future, with brick, stone, mortar, fencing and Krazyglued piano benches. Something to give future archaeologists pause and something for a modern day parent to contemplate. They say aspies think outside the box. I say sometimes they think clear into a galaxy far far away.
Make sure you check out my more indepth blog at Raising Asperger’s Kids (2.0)