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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Finally tuning in to my desire to play piano

The best Christmas present I got this year wasn't something my husband picked out from behind the glass at a jewelry story (although that was very nice, too). Instead, this gift came from my Aunt Gail and Uncle Mike, who after many years decided to hand down what was orginally my grandmother's piano. And somehow my family became the fortunate recipient.

For many, many years, I have said I want to learn to play piano. I bought a keyboard and had planned to take lessons from a friend, but we moved across the country before I could take advantage of her generous offer.

Life has gotten in the way with all the other time commitments I have. But the idea of having a real, live piano in the house renewed my desire to really do it -- to make time somehow.

I was so excited to get it home, but all my husband could think was how much work it was going to take to get the thing on Christmas day from my aunt and Uncle's truck (they were coming from New Hampshire) in Connecticut, transport it to New York and get it into our living room. We would have a lot of help moving it from truck to truck at my parents' house that day, but once at out house it would be a different story.

My husband enlisted the help of friends — or so he thought. It turned out they were both unavailable when the time actually came. But my husband didn't miss a beat in saying he was sure we could handle it on our own, leading me to believe it was really his plan all along.

So, he build a ramp from the truck's tailgate to the front door out of plywood and 2-by-8s, and slowly but surely we (my husband, our 9-year-old, 50-pound daughter and me) rolled and lifted this piano into place in the living room. It took us a long time as we made a plywood path across the room on which we guided the wheels.

It's now the prettiest thing in the room. Definitely time for new furniture in that room.

I'm trying to sit down and play for 15 minutes a day. I'm using the beginning piano books that my aunt and mother used when they were children. Something cool: each lesson in the books is marked with a little gold or silver star and the initials of my aunt or mother, signifying how they did on the lesson. Perhaps I should get some foil stars to reward myself as I complete each lesson.

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