Friday, June 13, 2008

Apartment Love

I have a bright, eager young student named Charlie. Charlie takes lessons from me on both violin and piano, and is the most well-mannered, enthusiastic young student a teacher could hope for. An imaginative kid, he loves reading, history, science, mechanical things, his dog, the great outdoors, and music. And I've never seen him without a smile on his face. As if all that weren't enough to win my heart, recently we had the following conversation:

Charlie: You own this whole house, right?

Sarah: Actually, we just rent this second-story apartment; the downstairs is a workshop that belongs to a pipe organ builder.

Charlie: Oh! I thought this was a house, not an apartment. If this were a house it would be the most perfect place to live. I just think it's so beautiful on the inside and on the outside.

I surveyed the yellowed old wood paneling on the walls, and the crowded room that holds our two grand pianos, small dining table, four chairs, computer desk, stereo speakers, bookshelves, couch, and television. While I love our cozy apartment and believe it is the perfect home for us right now, I often worry that others see the flaws - far from the beauty and perfection that Charlie sees.

I love him for seeing it the way he does.

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