Crusher of Dreams, Officially

Black and white of a discarded piano missing keys.

This is so awesome. Sooo very awesome. I have a new title. I am now, officially, as proclaimed by my son, The Crusher of Dreams.

I’ve earned the title over time, with many incidents proving my worthiness of it because I am — after all — a parent. But my title was not until today bestowed upon me. And bestowed upon me with all of the melodrama such a title deserves.

What, you ask, has brought me this honor? A piano.

More accurately, parts of a piano. The disintegrating corpse of a piano currently basking in the twilight behind the middle school cafeteria on a large furniture dolly. Legless, lidless, and missing several keys, my son wants this piano for its nostalgic and historic value.

And I, heartless as dream crushers are, said no.

The nostalgia for the piano is not his own. In fact, he only discovered it today. It was, he thinks, used by the school’s choir teacher before the school recently replaced it. The history is simply that someone used it, people stood near it to sing, and it happened prior to today.

Thankfully, the journey home from school is a short one, so the element of “I’m trapped in the car with an angry pre-teen” was brief. It still amazes me how quickly the pre-teen species can move from happy to sullen with little warning.

We arrived home. He followed me onto the porch, lugging his overstuffed backpack: “I can’t believe you are crushing my dreams,” he said. Twice. Twice because I had to ask him to repeat whatever he uttered through snuffling and distressed warbling. He went to the backyard in a huff but soon returned with a new plan: We could build an annex on his fort to house the piano.

I am the crusher of dreams. My answer was, naturally, no.

He's persistent. And clever. The conversation continued.

I’ll just use my fort for my room and put the piano in my bedroom.
You can’t move into your fort.
Why not?
There’s no heat, no electricity, and no bathroom.
I’ll use comforters and make my own toilet.
Wait, what?
Sawdust and a bucket. A chamber pot. A pit toilet.
Why do you have to say no to everything?

<< A brief, but not brief enough pause. >>

OK, then can I sleep in my closet?
Whenever I try to take action, you crush it and tell me no. But whenever I try to do something that isn’t bold, you say “sure, you can do that.” Why do you have to be that way?

Using my inside voice, the one he doesn’t get to hear, I responded.


I think I need a cape. Maybe a scepter. Would a tiara be too much?

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