my oldest playing her flute as I play piano…
I think of all
the things I thought
and how I used to feel
Remembering all my
connecting through our stories
and spending time
I’m reliving my own childhood
as I watch these
girls of mine!
I did something out of the ordinary the other day- I gave my daughters my undivided attention. It would be fair to say that most days my attention is split in a thousand different directions- but the rare afternoons I give them ALL of me are ones I never regret.
My older daughter was under the weather and stayed home from school, and much to my delight- she is so loving and pleasant when she is sick. She spent most of the day laying in my bed as I cleaned and did laundry. We talked about life and school and all sorts of pre-teen things.
When my youngest one came home from school, I devoted all of my time to her. We began with a piano lesson where she confessed that one day she wanted to play just like me.
“Can I play piano for church someday?” she asked me during our lesson.
Be still my beating heart! There is nothing that would make me prouder than seeing my children give their gifts to the Lord- whatever those gifts may be! And she continued to ask me all sorts of questions about my childhood…
“Momma? Do you remember who your kindergarten teacher was?”
“I sure do! She even had a dress that looked like one Caroline Ingalls would have worn from Little House on the Prairie!” My older daughter, in the next room, couldn’t resist joining our conversation.
“What about your first grade teacher?”
“Yep- I remember being so sad that I cried for the entire first week of school. I wanted to stay home with my mom and was sad to leave my sister. I cried so much that my teacher put an entire box of tissues on my desk!”
We had a good laugh about that one. As I recalled each of my elementary teachers, I also remembered little stories that connected me with my girls, allowing me to remember just how big those “little” things seemed to me at the time.
I remembered being asked to create a still-life drawing by my art teacher in the 5th grade. She wanted to submit my artwork for a chance for me to attend a special art program in our city. With utmost care, I sketched the encyclopedia bookcase in my dining room- carefully drawing the many potted plants my mom had surrounding it. I thought it was the best thing I had ever created. I was so proud of that drawing! I remember handing it into my teacher, sure that I would be picked to be in this elite group of artists… but my dream was crushed. I wasn’t chosen. I didn’t think I would ever draw again after that day.
My youngest daughter loves to draw, and she was especially touched by that story.
“Why don’t you draw anymore?” my daughter asked me inquisitively.
“Well, I really loved music, so I spent most of my free time playing piano instead of drawing.”
I remember the day I found out I didn’t make it into the art program. I was devastated, and felt like I would never be good enough at anything. That feeling was as real to me as I shared the story with my girls as it was 25 years ago. Something I was so proud of was just not good enough.
I thought about how different my life could have been if I been accepted into that art program…it was later that year that I began taking piano lessons…
But perhaps He knew I’d have no time to sing
and no time to play piano
Perhaps I would have never written any poems
or any songs
And in that moment of sharing my memories, He opened my eyes to this- it has taken me 25 years to see the blessing in being a “rejected” art student… because just maybe He knew He had something far better in store for that 10 year old girl!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11