This is my biggest fight.
Every day I face mounds of laundry. Every day I face sibling squabbles. Every day I face cooking three meals and the kitchen clean-up afterward. Every day I face whiny voices and grumpy faces. Every day I have to fight to recover the joy in my calling.
It’s always been my dream to be a mom, but some days it’s dreamier than others. And it’s so easy to get bogged down in the details, to get sidetracked by an agenda or a task or a goal. To forget about the personhood of these little ones and the relationships that await my cultivation. Because that’s where the joy is. In the relationship.
Just today, my eldest and I entered the ring over instrument practice. She dissolved into tears because it’s too hard and I snapped because you know this. I have the list, the wide-ruled sheet with all the mandates: Work on the recital piece. Practice the two-octave G-major scale. Polish up the Étude. Sight-read the next lesson. I rush her through, trying to make sure we check all the boxes, that we’re good students because I’m-a-music-teacher-too-and-I-can’t-let-go. And I lose the joy.
You know that saying, “When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? It’s more profound than I realized. It’s not about making sure everyone toes the line and makes my life a bed of roses. It’s about me toeing the line with the enemy of my soul and staring the despair down into submission, burying the discouragement under a bed of roses. It’s about choosing joy in the midst of the mundane, because their happiness depends on mine.
She lost the joy without even knowing she had the chance to fight. To win.
So where do we go from here? Well, for me and a certain budding violinist, a date is in order, a time to heal and restore our joy in each other, to the tune (pun intended) of a violin concert at our local university. And we’re going to slow down. Savor the music. Forget about checking the boxes and simply delight in the gifts of each other and our violins.
Let's shine together!
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