“I’ll Cure You of Disease”


The girls (13 and 14) have had their eyes glued to their iPhones. Literally, they can be on Instagram and chat for hours at a time. I get it: It’s 110 degrees outside and you can only swim in our pool for so long. And they are practicing their violins for 60 to 90 minutes each day. If I ask, they fold laundry, take out the garbage and vacuum. That still leaves many hours in the day. They can sit for that long, watching videos, reading other people’s feeds and chatting with friends. Josie is just getting into Pokemon and asks for us to drive her around. I refuse. We tried it last night and I guess the server crashed (?) So No Pokemon Go. I consider this THE disease of their generation: apathy brought on by technology.

Fed up, I took their phones last night. They squawked. And then they went to bed. With the phones in my room, they knew better than to reach for them in the morning. Ava swam 30 laps straight away. Then they made themselves some breakfast. And then I asked them to peel, core and cut up 7 large apples for our apple crisp. They did a beautiful job.  I had Josie organize photos and papers for me while Ava completed making the crisp. “What else, mom?” Fold some laundry.

The girls are into 21 Pilots. We marvel at how distinctly different each of their songs are. We could hear a bit of Bob Marley, Red Hot Chili Peppers, maybe even some Bob Dylan.

“I love how they create so many different sounding songs.” Ava said.

“Yeah, I imagine they listen to a wide range of artists and then are influenced by them. They study what they like. You know, Ava, you play a lot of classical music, but that doesn’t mean you have to only play classical. You can let 21 Pilots influence you too.”

Ava agreed.

“I’m going to compose this song House of Gold and make the harmony for Josie, too.”

While Josie did my makeup (she insisted, I capitulated), Ava listened to the recording and replayed it on her violin. Then she got the computer and re-created the notes on a music software program, MuseScore.

Josie swam 30 laps.

They practiced violin.

We went to Target and came home. They got to be on phones for a bit.

Ava resumed working on the song.

It was a fantastic day. Tyler Joseph cured the disease!

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