I was working 24 hours a week then, and I am working 24 hours a week now. But I have 2 more children. And the older 2 are in school. And the younger 2 are home a lot, even when I am working. And life is fast and complicated, even as I am constantly looking for ways to simplify it.
But he talks to every kid on his team with the same wild excitement. He makes friends with all of them. He cheers them all on. He listens to his coach. I am so proud of him every time he gets in the game and every time he sits on the bench. He got the Principal's award for character at school this semester, even though he is always talking and often doesn't finish his work.
He was very kind to my clients when I took the kids to visit and hand out candy canes at a couple of the facilities. He has talked a lot about how he wants to make other people happy, about how Christmas is about giving.
When he is not being incredibly considerate he is completely driving me crazy. As mentioned before he has so much trouble with basketball because he is jealous of the attention we give to the Dude at practices and games. He struggles with his self esteem, and for some reason it is an insult to him if we tell The Dude that he is doing well. He also still has the tendency to be very rude to guests or anyone he does not know very well. As before, he knows and can tell you exactly how he should act, but completely falls apart when placed in an actual circumstance.
He gets to buy a new gift card with his allowance money.
In hindsight he is probably reaching the age where I should give him advice and let him fail and reap the consequences without confluct so I will know better next time. I was just trying to get everything done as efficiently as possible but efficiency is impossible with children around, and shouldn't be my main goal anyway.
Luckily, he can now occasionally laugh at me and himself when I am getting frustrated about these things. He used to take everything way too seriously, but his sense of humor now saves him occasionally.
But there are some lessons from music that have been integrated into essential parts of my life.
Like the first and last notes.
We learned in school that the last note of a concert is the most important one, it is the one people will most remember. The 2nd most important is the first note. And so every night, I strive to make the last part of the day with my children and husband special. Bedtime is a sacred time in our home. Cleanup takes a backseat. We spend time together. I try to hold it together even though I am exhausted.
And the first time I see everyone in the morning they get a smile and a hug, even if it is 5:30 am, and even if I haven't had my coffee yet.
"And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!"
"What a horrendous mistake it would be if we heard Jesus's call to be the servant of all in Mark 10:44 as a call to serve Him. It is not. It is a call to learn how to be served by Him. Don't miss this, this is the heart of Christianity....Our God does not need our service, nor is He glorified by recruits who want to help Him out. Our God is so full and so self sufficient, and so overflowing in power and life and joy that He glorifies Himself by serving us. Here is a general truth to ponder and believe: every time Jesus commands something for us to do, it is His way of telling us how He wants to serve us. Let me say it another way: the path of obedience is the place where Christ meets us as our servant to carry our burdens and give us His power....Jesus does not need your help. He commands your obedience, and offers His help."
That song always gives me chills. He came in this messy and humble human form to help us in our humanity.