Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not my will, but Thine be done

Sometimes it's hard to not push your kids into the things you wish you'd accomplished. It's even harder when they enjoy those same things.

I had a shot at being a real pianist. I had an excellent teacher (thank you Mrs. Ellsworth) with stellar credentials and the ability to create stars out of dinky small-town Ohio kids. But this kid wanted the glory of being able to play without the drudgery of scales and technique and cord progressions. I had music in my bones but laziness in my butt, and therefore gave poor Mrs. Ellsworth a very hard time and my parents very little return on their money.

My kids love the piano. They've played since their pudgy little fingers could reach the keys. Bubba has shown glimpses of talent--picking things up by ear, memorizing everything, the ability to transpose into different keys--and Sis is following close behind. They have a delightful teacher whose aim is to encourage love of the piano rather than strict discipline. While this is wonderful for them, I find it rather irritating. I want them to play with excellence, to be star performers, and...to burn out by the age of 12. Oh, wait, not that. But if I'm not careful, that's exactly where we're headed.

The kids gave their yearly recital this past Friday. It was Sissy's first; she played a duet with her teacher and one with her brother. Bubba played Clementi's Opus 36. Sonatina No.1--the same thing I played for a recital at his age. I think I was more nervous than the two of them put together. Sissy is made for performance: she loves the stage and never fumbles over mistakes, but keeps on moving. Bubba plays with his entire being. He love music and doesn't have to be asked to practice, but plays every time he passes the piano. Now if mother can just keep her wits about her and remember that we asked the Lord to accomplish His plans with our children, virtuosos or not. May He get the glory, not the children nor their mother.

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