Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: No Piano Mom.

Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.




Mom, I don’t want to play piano, 

But you force me every week, no! 

You say “it can’t be that hard,”

My piano playing, will never go far.

You think I’ll get better when you make me play, 

I practice, fumbling the wrong keys — you say:

“My boy he’s going to be a musician,

My Alex is going to go far, be a physician;

Playing the piano helps with math and science skills, 

Playing these notes, he learns to read music: I’ve chills, 

One day he’ll be a musician and a doctor, 

How could a mother want anything more.” 

So I pound out the notes, keeping my hand like a ball,

Ignoring your wince when my fingers stumble and fall.

I want to do something fun, 

I want to play soccer and run.

I want to be an astronaut, or maybe a fireman, 

A hero who saves people, maybe Spider-Man?

I’m not sure yet what I want to be, 

I don’t like math or piano you see. 

But my printing is good; I handwrite well,

My typing is fast; in my stories, witches cast spells.

I like to read; I’m quicker than other children.

Are you listening to me? Or yelling certain —

I should be practicing piano, something you decided for me.

Never asking how I felt as years passed by and I still played off key.

I couldn’t memorize the music; it was tedious, 

I preferred writing stories, characters mischievous. 

How your face dropped, 

Now you never talk to me; you stopped.

Because I didn’t become a musician or a doctor,

I used my talents and your boy Alex plays professional soccer.

Writing stories in the paper about sports and other topics, I glean.

I didn’t meet your standards; I lived my own dreams.


ยฉ Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


55 thoughts on “Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: No Piano Mom.

  1. Lisa Lancaster May 20, 2016 / 4:35 am

    This is such a nice reminder not to put your expectations onto your kids. I’ll keep this in mind for when Miss 2 is older.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 20, 2016 / 4:45 am

      Glad it made you think. I’m not a Mom but from my own experience growing up, I think it is important to find out where your kids skills/talents are and nurture those. Maybe hard to separate from things kids want to do that are fads. I’m not sure thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. desiera38splunk May 20, 2016 / 4:44 am

    it such a great stories .I am mother and I live with positive thougths i don’t let my son to live with my standards.i want them to live with freedom in their own way .

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 20, 2016 / 4:47 am

      That’s awesome Desiera. I know parents do the best they can.


  3. Annie May 20, 2016 / 9:21 am

    It’s sad how little kids are being robbed of their childhood because the parents do not want them to “miss out” on things. Great write, Mandi.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. prettyflyforawhitemom May 20, 2016 / 11:00 am

    Amazing!! I was forced into piano lessons too. Really great form,rhyme all of it. I saw this writing prompt and left it as I was immediately inspired. Must have blocked my own piano memories… Lol. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jacquelineobyikocha May 20, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    Great poem Mandi. I wonder why parents do this and deny their children of the opportunities to live their dreams and probably be their best at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 20, 2016 / 8:20 pm

      I don’t think it always intentional. Sometimes they just don’t want their kids to miss out on something they did, not realizing their kid has different talents and preferences. Thanks for commenting.


  6. angietrafford May 20, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    What a great poem! It is the same when parents put expectations on their children. I guess I was lucky in my own way because I was allowed to find what I wanted to do by myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 20, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      That’s awesome you were aloud to do that. For the most part I was, with the exception of piano lessons lol. My brothers got to quite early and I had to play until I was 17. I sucked so I didn’t get why. Thanks for your comments Angie ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. moonskittles May 21, 2016 / 12:46 am

    When parents do not understand the skills and talents of their kids, and when they try to achieve their own dreams with their lives, the child will feel suffocated.
    Great piece my friend.
    โค D.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 21, 2016 / 1:46 am

      Thank you for your comments D. Happy you saw what I was saying. I don’t think parents always mean to make their kids do things they don’t want, they just don’t want their child to have regrets but in doing so, the child grows up regretting. An unfortunate cycle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • moonskittles May 21, 2016 / 2:16 am

        Yes, indeed Mandi. We can empower a child, or discourage them.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hemangini May 21, 2016 / 2:52 am

    ๐Ÿ˜ฆ such a sad story of a wonderful boy.. I wish parent’s didn’t push children for their dreams so much that it robs them of their innocence. Wonderful story weaved in such wonderful pros. Great going Mandibelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 21, 2016 / 4:42 pm

      Thank you. I have to admit there is a bit of ‘myself’ behind this little boy I created. I had to play piano until I was seventeen. My parents had the best in mind, when they started me at piano lessons around five or six, but I never had a talent for it and went through some humiliating experiences being expected to play piano when I wasn’t that good, even practicing a piece over and over. My parents didn’t want me to miss out, my Dad always regretted he stopped taking piano lessons at grade 2, but he has alive for choral music and singing I do not. I wanted art lessons or to play sports, that was here my heart was in highschool and junior high, and where I focused my energy.

      So, yes you are very right, we should never make kids do something they don’t value too.

      Thanks again for stopping by. Sorry about long comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hemangini May 22, 2016 / 5:22 am

        No dear, your long comment is worth it. You have put your heart in it. It’s rare. Being a child we don’t have much control over what we want to do but maybe as we grow older we do have a choice to do what we want or what is wanted of us.
        I am glad that you write now, you surely are talented and working hard in that area… I don’t know about piano, but your writing is beautiful and if words are like musical cords I would love to listen to your poems and stories out loud… ๐Ÿ™‚
        You are beautiful, keep believing in yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Have a wonderful day my dear.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mandibelle16 May 22, 2016 / 5:02 pm

        Thank you so much Hemangini. What wonderful compliments. Yes I love to write. Thanks so much ๐Ÿ’—

        Liked by 1 person

  9. shreyans May 21, 2016 / 5:47 am

    simply outstanding..writings like these inspires you to write and express..such a beautiful message with a powerful yet simple story..
    keep writing..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Darren May 21, 2016 / 9:52 am

    Pushy parenting is definitely on the rise, and I put the blame for that solely at the feet of Simon Cowell ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Lovely last line btw, that’s the most important thing–to try and live by your own dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 21, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Thanks Darren. Yes, I think in the end that is how we are happiest not by living others dreams for us, but our own. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. luckyjc007 May 21, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    Parents mean well, but sometimes forget that it is important to pay attention to the talents the child really has a potential for improving, not forcing them to adapt to one the parents would like for them to have. If they try it for a while, but really despise it then they should be allowed to do something different. Children can achieve a lot more if they are pursuing things they are interested in. Some parents even try to live out their dreams through their children and this may work in some cases, but not always. Every individual is different, no matter what their families background may be.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. bikurgurl May 22, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    I empathize with both the parent and the child. Parents want their children to have opportunities, and sometimes you have to push through the bad to get to the good {like in writing}, but sometimes giving up our own dreams for our children so they can pursue their own dreams. The other extreme is allowing children to never get out of their comfort zone and try anything new – beyond video games, tv, or other single-mindedness to not be more cultured or gain other perspectives.

    For instance, in our house learning music isn’t an option. We homeschool, and as such, music instruction isn’t optional. However, the tools from which we gain our basic music skills, totally optional. We’ve dabbled in piano, voice, drums, violin, and guitar. Drawing parallels between the music, math, and science — that’s my job to connect the dots and demonstrate relevance between disciplines ๐Ÿ˜‰ The older my boys get, the more they begin seeing the similarities. It’s so wonderful and rewarding to see!

    I remember your history with the piano from other Flash Fiction pieces and always feel great empathy for you when a piano image is given. Great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 22, 2016 / 4:45 pm

      Thank you Bikurgurl. It is fine my parents meant the best trying to keep me to play piano. They never did force me to take an exam beyond my theory exams for grade 2 piano. I like your view on educating your kids. It sounds like even though you are homeschooling, they have a very rounded education and it is fun for them to try many instruments in music for instance . Best of luck teaching them and continuing with their educations. And thank you for your empathy ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • bikurgurl May 23, 2016 / 11:22 pm

        As I tell my own children, we’re learning parenting them as we go. We make mistakes, own up, and try to do better. It’s like we’re….human ๐Ÿ˜‰ Allowing our children to see our missteps and that we all make mistakes has made it easier as they grow into young men – they aren’t seeing us as always being “right” or “perfect”, but striving to learn and grow in our own adulthood. You are most welcome for the empathy – it’s not an easy job being a child, or a parent, but it gives us a lot of material to write from!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. rosemawrites May 23, 2016 / 6:05 am

    a sad yet wonderful story, Mandi, because of the empowering final line. Parents should never ever made their kid into the way they imagines them to be. Kids are kids and they are humans with their own dreams. You have shown that point well, Mandi!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 23, 2016 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks dear. Yeah, I think kids need a choice in their activities too. Especially as they get older ๐Ÿ™‚ have a great weak!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. athling2001 May 28, 2016 / 11:25 am

    So sad his mother couldn’t see his true longing and talent. Beautifully written, his longing and his resignation coming through loud and clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 May 28, 2016 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks Athling. I’m happy you enjoyed this piece. I think after a while you would have to see this isn’t where your kids talents are and you’re only embarrassing him when he has to play at recitals etc. But he in the end, chose his own path and I think that’s important. Thanks for your thoughts.


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