I have been thinking often lately of how childhood homes and families are, and how much they can affect your interests, your education, your vocation. I am interested in literature and music but always had to learn on my own, with little encouragement from my parents who weren’t very interested in either (though my sister was a voracious reader herself and I often borrowed (sometimes stealthily) the books she brought home.
Well, a bit unfair to say my mother wasn’t encouraging — she determinedly carted me or accompanied me to dance lessons and music lessons. But there was little music in our home. My father used to yell at us when we put on the tape recorder. Apparently, use would ‘spoil’ it. For a few years, I practised my singing regularly but somewhat half-heartedly. My parents seemed to tolerate this rather than derive any pleasure from this. Not because they thought I was a bad singer, because they did encourage me to perform in public. It was the societal reward that encouraged them, the idea that someone might praise their daughter (and them for being cool parents), not any love of music or even pleasure in seeing their child working on something.