Hey... It Could Happen....

Lock’s fingers trailed over the row of ivory, bare fingers touching the age stained keys so softly that they didn’t make a sound. He eyed the bench that sat before the grand piano as his fingers fell to the key slip just before the keys, the heat from his fingers causing slight prints against the cool cast iron. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen this thing… He’d been but a child in the halls of his family’s manor, long before he learned what greed and corruption were. So much had changed since then… So much had transpired.

Two hands fell flat to the seat of the bench at the head of the piano, fingers curling around the edges of the seat. A deep breath was taken as he steadied himself, then finally pulled up the seat, opening the hatch to a past he thought he’d all but lost. Within the belly of the seat were papers among papers and books, things he didn’t know even still existed. The scores of music from the simplest Sin'dorei verses to more elusive works from Dalaran. It was like a piece of his past that had never been touched by the darkness that followed him and the name of his family. It was from a simpler time… From a time where music could erase the truth of the world around him, and take him to another place.

Lock had been surprised by the slow trickle of artifacts and items that had began to show up at the Lighthouse since his parent’s… Untimely demise. He never expected to gain so much from the death of his parents. And this piano was the last thing he’d thought he’d see being rolled in to the parlor of the shop.

The Lighthouse around him was silent, he’d been left home alone to deal with some affairs of his own. Ara had taken Serah shopping and Nana had taken the twins out to the forest to gather berries and herbs for potions that Ara and Lock were running low on. He thought he’d be alone for a while longer, so when the voice pipped up from the door behind him, he jumped slightly, but smiled.

“Daddy… Is that… A piano?” The small girl asked as she came up behind Lock and peered out from behind his legs. Lock’s left hand came back to his side so that his fingers could bury themselves in the girl’s dark curls, wrapping them around his fingers much like he did with Ara’s own curls on occasion. “Yes, Princess… I forgot you and your brother haven’t ever seen one up close.” The small girl giggled at that, her small frame slipping past Harlock and on to the bench. She crawled over it and pulled her knees and legs beneath her, sitting on them as she reached up to touch the keys. But she touched the keys a bit harder then Lock had, and a musical tone of mixed pitches sounded out through the room. This shocked the girl and her hands shot back to her face, covering her mouth with a gasp. “Sorry!”

Lock laughed softly at his daughter, moving. “Don’t apologize. That’s what it’s supposed to do. And if you press the keys just right… Well it can make some very pretty music.” He said softly, moving to sit on the bench beside his daughter. Carefully, he plucked the small girl up, causing her to giggle, and slid her on to his lap, so that his feet reached the pedals and her hands reached the keys. He took her smooth, small hands in his much larger and rougher ones, and carefully made her put out both of her index fingers. “Watch…” he whispered down to her.

Carefully his feet hit the pedals of the piano as he guided his daughter’s two fingers slowly and carefully over simple keystrokes, causing a soft, simple tune to ring out. The girl watched in awe as she watched her father guide her hands to create music, a smile curling her cherub lips upwards. “Woooow…” She whispered, giggling.

But the sound wouldn’t attract just the small girl’s attention. In no time, with just a few tones from the belly of the piano, small feet came rushing in to the parlor behind them, wide eyes peering at Harlock and the girl through an all too familiar tangle of hair. “Awesome! Daddy me too! Show me!” The little boy called out as he rushed to the bench beside Harlock, his toy dragons tossed to the floor on the way. “Aha… Alright alright… Here… You sit here…” He said, moving the small girl again so that she was sitting beside him, opposite of her twin brother.

“Play something, daddy!” The girl demanded in a sing-song voice. “Yeah! Play something!” The little boy chimed in as well. Lock laughed, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. “I’ll try but… It’s been a very long time since daddy has touched a piano…” He mumbled, looking at the keys. But the kids were ready for him. They were entranced by the simple yet elegant tones of the piano… And Harlock was remembering a happier time from his past, one he’d forgotten long ago.

He used to sit at this piano for hours and play these songs, drowning out the sounds of the manor he’d grown up in. But now… The piano was before him again, and it wouldn’t be used to escape his reality. It would be used to teach two children a talent that would grow with them. 

Lock’s fingers began to move over the ivory keys, carefully pressing both off white and black in rhythm and patterns that began to create a simple but well rounded song. His feet moved simply over the three pedals below the bench, hitting soft, sostenuto, and sustaining respectfully. Of course, there would be small slip ups where he’d hit the wrong key and a note would be one or two tones too high or low, but the twins wouldn’t notice the difference, and Lock would just keep going.

In time, the twins grew restless and Lock would stop, putting one of each of their hands on the keys. The little girl’s hand was on the high keys, her brother’s on the low, and Lock’s left hand on the middle toned keys. “Now… Do what I do, alright?” He asked, and both twins would nod their heads excitedly. One key at a time, Lock lead them to play an all too familiar lullaby, and as he did, his voice, though extremely hushed, matched word to tone in soft song, something very few knew he could do.

“Twin-kle…. Twin-kle… Litt-le… Star…” He sang each syllable to the twins, and they smiled brightly as their father taught them carefully how to play their first song on the piano. Lock wouldn’t see Nana in the doorway behind them watching silently, and he wouldn’t see her turn to look over her shoulder when she heard the front door to the Lighthouse open. The old woman turned and walked up to the woman and older girl that accompanied her. “Serah… Come help me with dinner…” She said in a very quiet voice, looking to the dark haired woman and smiling, putting a finger to her lips and letting out a soft ‘shhh’ as she ushered Serah away, leaving Ara to see Lock’s secret and his time with the twins for herself…

The Me Generation

I’ve decided or I guess I’ve come to realize that the kids we are raising today are NOT the leaders we can expect for tomorrow.

I am sure there are exceptions, but overall, the children of today (and I’m talking about those under 25) are incredibly self centered and unmotivated. They would rather have everything done for them, and we, their parents, are right there enabling that behavior.

I grew up during the 70s and 80s and I can tell you I was working as soon as I could get a paper route and from there have always had some type of job. In addition to that, I have always had chores to do or responsibilities to be accountable for. It was never one or the other; I made my bed, did the dishes, mowed the lawn, AND babysat the neighborhood kids. I’ve always been a worker.

What has me riled up today, is that our kids don’t have the same push or drive, they don’t care about getting out there and getting their own, they are more preoccupied with their electronics and virtual social lives than the world around them. I’m not saying they are the only ones, we adults do it too, I’m just saying it is 3fold with our children.

Ok, right now you are probably saying, so do something about it, don’t let your children be like that. I’ve tried… I am a working mom, full time and sometimes more than full time. My husband is their step father, and therefor, not as able to guide the kids, and their own dad is not currently in the picture. 

How do you change your kids behavior when you aren’t around enough to manage it? And when I do get time with my kids, I would prefer that we not argue about their electronic usage. It probably sounds like a cop out, but I do the best I can.

So what happens when your kids don’t have the motivation or drive to excel? Well, you raise a generation of kids that are happy just getting by and who always expect someone else will take care of them. Literally…

Imagine, if you will, that tomorrow there was some weird EMP disaster that caused all electricity to stop and anyone over the age of 30 to disappear (far fetched I know but humor me). There would be no electricity in the home, cell phones wouldn’t work, all businesses would be closed; including gas stations, and basically life as we know it would cease to exist. What then??

I don’t know too many kids today who would have a clue about how to create their own energy. I’m talking find the candles, light the fire kind of stuff. I think they would be lost, they might not even leave their homes looking for others who could help them. They probably would just sit in their rooms yelling for their parents (rather then get up and go look around). Could they survive for any length of time? Do they know how to grow a garden, find and filter water, make a home made compass? Maybe these are skills of bygone days but I think they are basic survival skills and most of our kids today don’t have them.

Why don’t they have these skills you ask, great question…

My opinion is that, growing up we all wanted to be better then our parents. Everything we were taught was about excelling, surviving, working hard, making your own way. You weren’t given any hand outs, you did what was expected of you, and you respected that your elders knew what they were talking about - and you didn’t question that (beyond the basic growing up, find your way stuff). Once we became successful, we wanted to make it easier for our own children, we didn’t want them to have the hardships we did and the money and technology made it so much easier to give them everything they wanted. Just think about the crazy Christmas’s you have probably given your children, UGH - what were we thinking? Just think about how you bought your daughter her first iPhone at 11 (because you could and you thought it would bring you closer…) or the first Xbox you gave your son at 9(because you could and because all the other boys had them…). 

Life is too easy for our kids, and it looks like it is our fault. They question everything and have a hard time respecting anyone (I’m talking teachers and those in authoritative positions). They have access to too many bad things on TV, in their music, and via the internet. They think life is about jet setting around the world, partying, and spending mommy and daddy’s money. They think relationships are like the 50 Shades of Grey stories they’ve read (at 15 because one of their friends gave them the book), they don’t look at intimate moments as intimate (because everyone shares everything, and I mean everything, via Twitter, SnapChat, Tumbler, and whatever other social media channel is the flavor of the day). They think working sucks, and if they aren’t allowed to hang out and socialize with their friends while they work, they don’t want to be there. They think school is irrelevant and they want to skate through - they hate it but yes they want to go to college so they can have another 4 years (or 6) of you paying and caring for them. They think you should provide them with their phone, car, education, and spending money because they are entitled to it and you owe it to them! 

Life for these kids is over the top, they get what they want and they want more. I’m not just calling out my kids in this post, I’m calling out the multitudes of children of this generation who are beyond spoiled and need a wake up call. 

It’s not all about you! You need to contribute to society, like everyone else. The world will not take care of you, no matter how nice you are, you need to take care of you. Get off your lazy asses and get jobs, clean up your act, focus on your studies, learn to care for yourselves, volunteer and help others, make your own money and become the adults everyone is hoping you become.