Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Too Hard

The other day, I sat in the music room and listened to Mike 'coach' a child during their piano practice.  It was not easy (the listening, the coaching, or the practicing...).

First of all, I am always amazed at Mike's ability and patience to help with the piano.   Mike has an amazing ear for music.  He will look at the song once, maybe even play it through himself, and then he will lay on the couch or floor (remember he has a broken back and doesn't sit).  He will then kindly make comments like, "You just played an 'F' it needs to be a 'C'."

It always amazes me, the non-ear-for-music-parent, and it always frustrates the practicing child.

This particular afternoon, I decided to go intervene, listen in.  The what could have been twenty minute practice session was now approaching the hour mark.  Mike's patience was still in check (Have I ever told you how fabulous of a dad he really, really is?)  The practicing child's patience was long gone and I, the sometimes-too-easy-parent was ready to burst in and end the session.

And then I heard those dreaded words, "It's too hard."
Those words didn't come from Mike, and they didn't come from me.

Life is hard.
We are constantly trying to teach our children hard is good.
And believe me, I have experience with this.
Motherhood is H.A.R.D.
Some days, I can't help but think it is 'too hard.'
But as of yet, I haven't quit...

Trying to discipline and motivate five different personalitied-children is hard.  One will bounce into action with a slight raise of voice (sometimes with a threat thrown in).  One will listen to all sorts of rewards, kind words, smiles and praise, but if they don't want to do it, they won't!  One will push the limits on all sorts of rules, one will never come close to breaking them.  One will do an assignment the first time asked, one has a selective hearing problem.  And so on, and so forth.

And I know. I know. I know,
Deep in my heart I know, it is hard for everyone.

But sometimes doesn't it seem it is only hard for ourselves?

So when I heard the dreaded words, "It's too hard" come from the practicing child.  I knew I would not be putting an immediate end to the practice session.

There are a million excuses why sometimes we need to stop doing something, or our children think they should stop doing something.  And sometimes those reasons are valid and as parents, Mike and I let our children stop.

But something being 'too hard' is rarely a sufficient enough reason.
Hard is good.
Hard keeps us going.

Recently, the gist of some advice from my mother-in-law, told me that the hard things will be the most worthwhile.
I've thought of it everyday since.
I hope she's right...


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