Equipping for our obsolescence…isn’t that the main role of a parent? Parents strive to prepare their kids to be healthy, independent members of society. Our success means…they don’t need us anymore.
As the mom of a ten-year-old, I am obviously not there yet. Just getting him to butter his toast without showering crumbs into the stratosphere is a challenge. But I do already see flashes of the future man he will be.
When I see his caring touch with younger kids—even as an “only” not able to experience younger siblings—I see the loving dad he one day may become.
And when I see him calculate math problems that already make my eyes cross, I see the complex problem solver evolving who one day will be able to tackle the difficult issues that come his way.
Even though he’s only ten, I already see that he is beyond me in some ways, and it is both a scary and amazingly wonderful feeling.
With the math, it’s mostly because I’m more than a little bit rusty on the work he is doing, and it never came easy to me in the first place. Thankfully, I am blessed with a math-minded spouse, so I am able to say, “Go ask your dad,” but if I needed to, I’m relatively sure that I could reawaken that part of my brain and help him out. (Right?)
But there is one part of his world that he is already clearly beyond me, and it touches my heart deeply.
I love music, but I don’t play an instrument. If you remember my history of faking the flute, you know I greatly respect musicians and wish I had the ability. So much so that I did try piano lessons as an adult, but after reaching the heights of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” I knew it was time to turn in the keys. Between needing my hands to move independently of one another and follow the music, the spaz in me just couldn’t keep up. And when my beloved piano teacher added the foot pedal, well…I think I simply combusted internally.
But my kid gets it.
He is learning both the piano and drums (talk about needing to coordinate independent movements!), and he gets it.
He’s beyond me…and I love it.
Hearing him play makes my heart smile. It’s like he knows a language that I never will, and though I wish I did know it, the fact that he does…well, it’s just beautiful. A wonderful, infinite world is open to him, and it brings me great joy.
Seeing my child surpass me in something is really what it’s all about. It is just the first of many aspects of life that he will transcend my abilities and excel as the person he is—someone who is blessed by God to have an array of gifts and talents all his own. Seeing that blossom for anyone is fascinating, but when it’s my own kid, it’s enthralling.
Though right now he is still every bit a ten-year-old boy who giggles at farts and drives me crazy with his lack of focus, when I hear him play, I know that there is so much more in store for him.
One day…I will no longer need to remind him to wipe the peanut butter off of his face.
Lord willing, I will be around to look back and recall this time with great fondness—much the way I do now when I think about his first steps or his chubby baby cheeks. I need to cherish it all because I can see that time is marching on with determination.
Some days it’s harder for me than others to remember to embrace the joys of the age while striving to equip for the future, but I am grateful for it all.
What a wonderful journey I get to be a part of. I need to keep that in mind when the crumbs are flying, the homework assignment is missing, and I am telling him for the 17th time to get into the shower.
Maybe I should just make him play a song for me. That might just do the trick.
PS–Our world would be so incomplete and sad without the beauty of the arts to enrich our lives and help us to express ourselves in ways that science alone cannot. We need to fight for all kids to learn, experience, and grow in the arts. Please support art programs in public schools!
PPS–This is the 100th post of The Juggle Struggle. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey! Whether you are a first time reader or a long-time subscriber or follower, I greatly appreciate your taking some of your precious time to read my words…it means the world to me. And I hope you find it worth sticking around for more!