My firstborn is an overachiever. She works hard at everything she does. This is good and sometimes frustrating. Because who can excel all the time?
In school, she just completed a three week Recorder session in music. This was the first time in her nearly 10 years that she's ever picked up an instrument, much less learned to read music.
[I am probably the most unmusical person in Texas. Let me put it this way, I took piano lessons for 2 years and never found Middle C.]
My daughter loved playing her Recorder. She played it constantly during those three weeks (and I took a lot of Ibuprofen).
A couple of times a week during the session, each student tested (similar to Karate) and received a "belt" (a colored piece of yarn) tied to the end of the Recorder. Each color signified a level, which is a big deal in the fourth grade.
The last testing day, my daughter missed a note. She was given a second chance and she missed it again.
She didn't get her "black" belt. (Only a few kids did and I think most of them played the piano or some other instrument).
Oh, the tears and devastation this brought my girl. (Hello, hormones).
I didn't know what to say. In the scope of life, this isn't a big deal. But she felt so proud of herself for all she'd learned, talked about playing a Flute or Clarinet someday and raised her self esteem about 2.5 notches.
And then I had an idea, "Why don't we find some Christmas songs and you can practice them for the next three or four weeks and give a little concert for our family at Christmas. You can even dress up!"
I saw the glint in her eyes and smiled.
My good friend, Robin, emailed some of her Flute music and I bought more Ibuprofen.
There were a few more tears shed over a particularly difficult note, in which, unmusical as I am, insisted that a note on the Recorder cannot be broken! "It's a hole."
I recorded these songs during one of her practices. I am very proud of her...not so much for the music she makes, but for not giving up.
We both learned a lot from this lesson.
I hope your Christmas is blessed and you enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends. We're staying close to home and looking forward to it.
I'm taking a little break until next week. Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.