Saturday, March 9, 2013

Proud and Humble Mama

Today was a good day. It started off rocky, I had to run to a big box store to get black polo shirts for an upcoming concert for my boys. The three oldest had their solo and ensemble competitions today. Two of the boys needed to be there at 9:20 and though I kept watching my time on my watch, I hadn't counted on how long it would take to get through checkout. I kept calling home to keep them apprised of my progress, and to coach them on how ready they should be at that point.

Lawboy kept answering the phone and I don't know if he ever passed on my messages. My instructions before I left and on my phone calls were to shower, eat, take medications, have instruments packed and ready to go as well as have music. I called when I was about five minutes from home and instructed them to put their instruments in the van (I was in my husband's commuter car).

I got home about two minutes after we were supposed to be at the school (which takes about seven minutes to get to). They were still getting things together--despite the three "signpost" phone calls I had made. Whirlwind was still in his pajamas. I had planned on taking all three of them to the competition at the same time.

We finally got the two older ones out the door. I am not very proud to admit I was berating them for not following directions and running so late. A little voice inside my head told me I was not helping them be calm or prepare to perform at their best.  It was humbling.

I apologized to the boys for yelling.  I explained my reason for wanting to get them there early was to give them time to warm up and prepare and be calm.  I realized my yelling hadn't helped matters. I asked Firstborn to say a prayer because we had lost the influence of the Holy Spirit because of my yelling. He gave a beautiful prayer asking for the spirit to come back and to help them in their performances inasmuch as they had prepared to play their pieces. I think we all felt better after that, and that was proud mama moment number one.  He was showing maturity where I had not. 

I dropped the kids off and parked the car.  Just as I was coming in the school I saw Firstborn talking to his teacher.  His copy of his music had gone missing.  He was worried.  The teacher suggested he check his things again and retrace his steps back to the car.  Firstborn and I both said hurried prayers to find the music.  I ran to the car to check for his music, and then called home and had them check too.  The family and home and I came up with nothing. 

When I got back into the building, I could not find Firstborn. I found Lawboy who said Firstborn had been called back to play already. We checked with his teacher, but none of us had any idea whether or not he had found his missing music. Very quickly, Lawboy was called back to perform his piece.  I saw him off and headed home to get Whirlwind.

My sweet boys showed me generosity of spirit by being willing to forgive my crazy mama moments and berating I had done.  They were definitely more mature than I had been.  It is humbling when your child(ren) can show you how you should have behaved.  

When I arrived home, Whirlwind still had not showered. He was dressed, but not showered. I learned my lesson, and stayed calm.  I did make him shower and change his clothes into a white shirt and tie. His performance time was later, but I wanted to get him there with plenty of time to tune his instrument. It turns it out that was a good thing. And though Whirlwind kept whining and asking for his DS (which I did not give), I still kept my cool this time. He threatened to quit cello for the umpteenth time to which I calmly gave him options if he chose to quit.  I replied if he was choosing to quit we could either sell his cello, or he could pay me back for it if he wanted to keep it and not play it.  He loves his cello enough (though he hates to practice) that he calmed down.

In the end we got him there, he tuned his cello with the help of a teacher, and he performed. It was the first year of "competition" for Whirlwind and Lawboy, but the third for Firstborn. Whirlwind and Lawboy both got a rating of II.  This is really good for a first competition. We were expecting harder judging now that Firstborn is competing on a high school level, so we were absolutely thrilled when he came back with a I, which qualifies him to compete at state. He qualified last year too, but the state competition was held around the time Baby Girl was due.

At the end of the day, I am both proud of my boys and humbled by their actions.  They were quick to forgive and move on.  How often can I take a page from their book and not hold on to a grudge?  I try to not hold grudges, but I find that I will sometimes spend an hour or two in "righteous indignation" before I calm down.  They did it within less than an hour.

Something to think about.

I am so proud of my boys and all of their hard work!  Congratulations boys and thanks for being a good example to your mother. 

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