Amadeus and my own preternaturally precocious offspring.

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One of the things we did during our cozy, snowbound weekend was to watch Milos Forman’s film Amadeus. It cracked me up to see my children wince every time Tom Hulce broke out his maniacal giggle. I remember doing the exact same thing the first time I watched it.

After three blissfully lazy days at home, I was sad to have to report to work on Monday. My children had known since the day before that they wouldn’t have to go to school. They didn’t have to go today either, and we’ve already gotten the call announcing that there’s no school tomorrow. It’s quite possible that they may never have to go back ever again.

Yesterday morning, as I put on my winter gear to battle the elements, I began delivering my marching orders to the children, “So, since you’re going to be home all day long with nothing else to do…”

IMG_2552NO, Mom!,” my impertinent little daughter interrupted me, “We’re not going to be able to find a cure for cancer, or broker a peace treaty, or solve the problem of world hunger by the time you get home!”

“Ummm, no. That’s actually not what I was going to say at all!”

“Oh!” my daughter said sheepishly and with understandable surprise, since that is the speech I usually give on these occasions.

“As you now know, Mozart composed his first symphony at the age of four and…what was it? His first full length opera by the age of 12? How old are you now? Ten? Waaaay older than Mozart when he wrote that first symphony. So surely, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that with a whole day free to work on it, you and your brothers together could come up with some sort of composition. It doesn’t even have to be as taxing as a symphony. How about you come up with, say… a concerto for a string quartet, by the time I get back from work?”

I called later that afternoon to have my husband tell the children how much I was looking forward to hearing their composition that evening.

They rushed to meet me at the door when I arrived home.

“We wrote the concerto, but not for strings! We’d love to play it for you, but unfortunately, we wrote it for an instrument we don’t have…It’s for the didgeridoo.”

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