I am Thankful for My Son The Future Pianist

Every year my children’s elementary school hosts a Thanksgiving Lunch on Veteran’s Day. It’s an opportunity for parents to join their children for lunch and celebrate what they are thankful for while also honoring our Veterans. Many of the parents attend and it is organized beautifully. Outside the cafeteria the music teachers set-up a piano and children take turns performing for parents.

As I entered the school I stood with my two-year-old waiting for Tiny Steps Daddy to join us. I turned my attention to the piano and saw my seven-year-old son AD sitting in one of the chairs with the children waiting to perform. My heart skipped a beat as I realized he was in line to play the piano. You see, my son has never had one day of piano lessons. He DOES NOT know how to play. The little girl at the piano was playing a song while reading her sheet music. You can tell she knew what she was doing.

WHAT THE HELL? Why is he sitting there? I quickly grabbed my phone and texted my husband, “OMG why is AD about to play the piano?” But, the message wouldn’t send since the school is a dead zone for reception.

I looked at my son and he met my eyes and smiled. I smiled and waved then I quickly turned away as I became hysterical laughing. Parents must have thought I was an insane lady laughing quite inappropriately at seemingly nothing. Tears stung my eyes as I remembered a conversation AD had with me a few weeks back.

“Mommy, I signed up to play the piano at Thanksgiving lunch,” he said in passing.

“Oh that’s nice, but you don’t play the piano,” I said.

“The teachers said you don’t have to play that well to do it,” he explained.

I wanted to say more, but I assumed the music teachers would vet all the kids who signed-up. I figured he would get weeded out. I didn’t even think about it again. That is until I saw him sitting there.

My heart was beating as I tried to get my spasms of nervous laughter under control. Should I intervene? Will it be that bad if he just pounds on the keys? Will he be mortified or teased? Will people laugh? Does that matter?

The next child walked up to the piano with his own sheet music and my stomach turned some more. Just breathe. It will be okay. My son sat quietly waiting his turn.

Just then the teacher dismissed the kids to lunch and he filed out. I walked over to him and asked what happened. He looked at me and said, “I was too nervous so I decided not to play.”

Relief filled me and I took a deep breath, “Oh that’s okay baby. Would you like to start taking lessons?”

He nodded yes and our conversation was interrupted when Tiny Steps Daddy showed up. I quickly whispered to him what had almost happened and I could see the panic and relief in his eyes. We started to walk toward the cafeteria as the next group of performers took their seats to take turns playing the piano. I looked at them and smiled.

While this year has had its ups and downs, I have so much to be thankful for, including the innocence of my son who deep down in his heart still believes he can sit in front of a piano and just magically begin to play.

And who knows… maybe he could have.



Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




  1. Blanca Alvarado says:

    You made my day with this story!! I wonder if he really thought he could magically play? The innocence of children is so wonderful. We could all use some magic in our lives.

  2. That is such a sweet story! I think it also speaks of his confidence even though he decided not to play at the end. Not many kids would have the courage to get up there and perform even if they were pianists!