Much of the driving is carpooling with other kids to locations near and far. Driving kids to voice and piano lessons, however, are solo adventures. What has surprised me the most is how much I love this time alone with Micah and Lily.
Micah's piano teacher moved her studio from just around the corner to the the other side of town. Yes, I was grumpy. But yes, she's worth every second. We've gotten into a little routine, my boy and me. First, we pop in a Piano Guys CD. Next, we talk about music. We talk about the music playing and the instruments used. We talk about his music and what he's working on that week. Sometime, he completes his last few theory sheets as we talk. Other days, he recounts stories from school with a twinkle in his eye. He loves to play capture the flag, and his diving heroics always make me laugh.
Some of the best revelations have come during this car ride. He confessed how much he really wants to learn how to play the piano well ("I don't really like to admit this, but . . ."). He explained to me the myth of Atalanta and how he wants to incorporate it into the Greek mythology play he's writing at school. He confessed a crush, then recanted it the next week. I love these golden moments with my boy who is on the brink of puberty. I know he can't stay this way forever, but for now, he's still my little boy, and I cherish him.
Drop Micah off at scouts, check. Then I get twenty precious minutes at home before I get back in the car for my second run of the day--Lily to voice lessons.
Her voice teacher is my dear friend, and I have spent many 30-minute lessons sitting on her couch, listening to her teach my children to sing. Something I appreciate about Allyson is that she understand teens. She understands that they need to trust her and see her as a friend so they can learn from her. She banters back and forth with them, asks them about school and their lives, and intertwines breathing technique and vocal control with Broadway show tunes and musical theme songs.
The lesson flies, and before long we are back in the car, headed for home. Lily seamlessly picks up where she left off--more talk of friends and school and what homework lies ahead for her that night.
Life from 2:30-6:30 every night is filled with driving kids and prepping dinner and assisting with homework, but I look forward to my Tuesday afternoons as a special treasure in my week. Knowing they won't last forever, I try to soak up every minute I have with these middle kids who are suddenly my big kids.