Guest blog by Amy
Today was one of those days when
"THIS is why you have kids. You have kids because
they're more effective than a mirror."
I opted not to be my
daughter's piano teacher for a few reasons. Mainly because I didn't want to be
her piano teacher. I desperately want her to learn, to embrace the gift that is
music, to be able to connect with her soul and communicate the beauty inside of
her to the world outside. I just didn't want to be the one
fighting with her. I didn't feel like "because I said so" would motivate her as
well as "because Dr. G said so." And that part was right. Those words, like they
did with me 20 years ago, hold some serious weight.
fighting? Oh, it's epic. I don't have to be her teacher. I have to be her
practice buddy. Turns out, that's harder than being the teacher.
Daily, I sit with her on the bench, patiently
pointing out mistakes, counting along, singing the words. We talk about louds
and softs and tone quality and rhythm. It's pretty heady stuff for a 5-year-old.
And she can handle it. She plays beautifully. Until she
At some point during every practice session, there
is an explosion. Usually she blows first, and I am not far behind. She gets
frustrated or bored, and flips her lid.
I try to put my
finger on what it is that gets at me, and what I usually land on is "unmet
potential." Now I know there are a whole host of factors to consider here -
mainly, that she is FIVE YEARS OLD. But I am here to tell you that fighting with
a 5-year-old is brutally exhausting. The part that is the
most exhausting is restraining myself. You know... being the
The easy thing to do would be to decide that this is
not for us, and that we are going to "head in another direction" to keep the
peace. But I know that I would be doing my daughter - and the world - a terrible
disservice. Learning to play the piano is hard, that's all there is to it.
Harder, still, to learn correctly. Near impossible to learn beautifully. Her
teacher and I have the opportunity to mold this little child into an incredible
musician. But it would be easier to give up.
As I was
thinking about how to blog this today, God hit me with that thing above, about
kids being little living mirrors. I thought about how Philip Yancey pointed out
that Jesus's frustration with the disciples wasn't because they kept saying dumb
things, but because he saw what they could be, and wanted so desperately for
them to become that. And I think about how that's probably how God feels about
me. About us.
And yet, in his infinite patience, He never
gives up. He never "heads another direction," or finds the easier path for me.
He doesn't sign me up for ballet because that's what all the other little girls
are doing. If He wants to mold me into a pianist because that's where my gifts
are, He's going to mold me into a pianist. And wouldn't it be easier if I just
went with it?
What has God been preparing you for? How stubborn have you been?