Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mornings and Music and Pressing On

Mornings are hard for the boy and me. He is slow to get up, slow to get dressed, slow to do everything. I bought the wrong kind of cereal or let the milk run out. He fights with his sister about where the cereal box should be for optimal viewing of the label (even though they read it yesterday and every other day for the past week). He doesn't like the available lunch options, or else he gets so excited about them that he dances around instead of making the lunch. He can't find his shoes. or his homework. or his glasses.

And then we eventually start practicing piano and he does NOT want to do his scales. Many days there is yelling and pouting by at least one of us. It's amazing the number of things he "does not care" about when scales are on the line.

Today was one of those days, but we finally got through the scales and I sat on the couch to listen to his review pieces (something I often don't do because his sister is usually practicing at the same time so I'm listening to her). And I suddenly realized, he's playing music. This rough-and-tumble boy who always has food around his mouth. The one who I'm always a little worried may not make it in life--or survive into adulthood. That one...moments of his practicing show sensitivity and musicianship.

Now, this is no child prodigy. He is no better at piano than other children who practice every day like he does. But sometimes I catch a glimpse that it's going to be worth it. All this work is slowly paying off. You play enough scales and finally it turns into music. Maybe the hours we spend practicing each week are shaping his soul as well as his fingers. Perhaps he'll make something of himself.

So, mother whose mornings are hard and who wants to give up on the hard thing you are making your child do for his own good: Don't give up. Don't stop. Someday you'll look up and realize there's music coming out of him. And it will be worth it.

Here's the video I took to encourage myself on days when I think I can't. take. one. more. day. You can see where he turned around and realized he was being recorded, and also where it all kind of fell apart at the end. This is practice, after all, not perfection.