This evening, after dinner, while the children enjoyed a rousing tickle session with Daddy, I settled onto the floor (quite a commitment for a pregnant woman of my girth) to entertain myself on the Learn-to-Play Piano the children received from their aunt and uncle for Christmas. Myself never having learned to play (though dabbling here and there), I opened the accompanying book to "Old MacDonald" (a favorite of Emmett's) and began to play. Intrigued, the children gathered round and Micaiah begged her turn.
As she sat on my lap, I showed her how the letters on the music page corresponded to the letters on the piano and demonstrated playing a note. From there, she successfully hit each key to which I pointed. It was clearly hunt-and-peck and did not yet resemble a tune, but for a three-year-old's first stab at playing music, we were impressed. And she was thrilled, of course.
And suddenly, minus the fact we were huddled around a miniature instrument painted red, green, yellow and black, it felt as though we were taken back in time, enjoying family time around the piano.
I'm sure it's just how Jane Austen knew it.