Nine years later, I am pooped. I've caved more times than I care to admit. I remain strong on the things most important to me (kindness, positive work ethic and wearing a winter hat), but I've faltered on others (using an "inside voice," 7 pm bedtimes, and wearing an undershirt).
I feel like a failure every day.
|Danny drinking coffee at age 6 because he really, really wanted to be 40.|
This afternoon, Danny displayed a heightened level of bull-headedness with his cello instructor in regards to correct hand positioning. Once again, he insisted that the teacher was wrong and he knew better.
I went apesh*t crazy on the ride home in our minivan, citing thousands of wasted dollars and driving hours because of his refusal to cooperate. The cello had been his idea, I reminded him (although there may have been some subliminal subterfuge on my part). In my frustrated state, I was ready to give up and let him quit the cello. I didn't care how many times I heard parents lament allowing their children to walk away from instruments. I didn't care how many times I heard adults express regret over their own choice to end their musical pursuits.
I was feeling murderous and ready to chuck the whole blasted thing.
But then I remembered how hard the early years of piano had been. It had gone much the same way. Danny would do everything short of faking his own death to get out of practice. Only upon threats of a life without video games would he participate in recitals. For a long time, he didn't seem to be finding any joy in music.
But then he got better.
And later still, he even got pretty good.
Last Thursday, Danny smiled upon completion of his recital song. He knew he nailed it. He walked away a little straighter, and there was a quiet confidence in mastering something very difficult.
Mothering is like that.
I watched the video from his piano recital when I get home from cello and I decided to not give into my impulses. I have never bought the argument that a child's successes are solely theirs. For behind every great ice skater, gymnast, and professional athlete out there, there is a parent who withstood years of grueling schedules and oversight. I also don't believe it takes a village to raise a child, but rather committed parents who don't give up when things get tough.
Naturally, I may change my position on this whole subject if the kid doesn't start flying right with his cello instructor very soon.
I held firm.
We'll see how tomorrow goes.