What was once a challenge is now smooth and melodic.
As it turns out, seven-year-old's know little about their inabilities.
Fear isn't common for them.
He trudged forward.
He did what his piano teacher guided him to do.
He got it.
she pulled the music away.
With four days left until the recital, he now had an even bigger challenge.
I could hardly believe my eyes.
I wanted to scream at her for not telling him earlier.
He wasn't prepared for her expectations.
My own fear took over.
I'd like to say that I kept my distance and let the Boy figure it out.
But, I didn't.
I tried her approach of having him repeat small chunks of the song,
again and again, and again.
All I was doing was causing frustration. I stepped out of my role.
My own fear suffocated his independent trying and learning.
I forgot that this is his opportunity to learn responsibility.
I forgot that we chose for him to do this because of his love of music.
I forgot such important things.
(Just as he forgot the words of the song that he's played so many times.)
Choose grace, Amy.
I panicked for him and freaked out. The Boy sensed my agitation and commented that maybe she would move him to a later concert.
Are you kidding me, Boy?!
The thing is, the Boy never said he couldn't do it.
He just thinks he needs more time.
With a few days of practice, progress was coming.
I confessed that I was having a hard time trusting her experience.
She explained that she doesn't put the pressure on kids to memorize.
She mentions it only when she thinks they are ready.
But, I'm not sure he is ready.
I dig deep and tell the Boy that his teacher knows what he is capable of--far more than he knows, or even me.
He trusts in my words as truth, and I try to believe them for myself.
After two unscheduled lessons in back-to-back days, I begin to believe in the possibility that he can reach this challenge, and suddenly I turn the pressure up a few notches.
You can do it!, is said as a laser-focused command.
Just one more time, becomes an hour and a half.
My groom plays his father card and suggests it's been long enough.
But, he can do it!
I defend myself out of fear that I've caused more harm than good.
And then, I See.
The challenges in front of us seem so big. Until we grow.
Then, confidence raises expectations.
As we grow, we can tend to expect so much.
Because we've seen growth, we believe we are capable of much.
Truth says there are always challenges awaiting us and we will never challenge ourselves enough. Most importantly, we don't need to.
We aren't expected to out perform our yesterday.
Though He knows what we're capable of, He doesn't expect it all of us.
He challenges us with small bites, saying try this.
It is our choice to trust and try.
The Boy is trying his hardest.
But, his best isn't the best I imagine in my mind for him now.
My vision of his potential has expanded.
Suddenly I believe he can do better.
Without realizing it, I have become hard.
I find myself thinking that he could very well have this music memorized in time for the concert, and that maybe he isn't trying hard enough.
Who am I to know?
And, what does it matter?
He might not have the song memorized. And that's okay.
This is a teachable moment, Amy.
I am being responsible with my job as a parent to encourage him,
and to let him decide for himself whether to accept the challenge.
My role is to encourage and celebrate the road he's trudged, and trust he'll be ready for the long road ahead of him--step by step.
This is just preparation for more of life.
The outcome at concert time isn't a reflection of him.
Or me. Or of whether either of us has tried hard enough.
There. Is. Much. To. Be. Celebrated.
Seeing comes with a responsibility to trust.
As our eyes are opened and we begin to See, we constantly need to choose Grace and fall into it--trusting Him and not ourselves.
This bulldozes me over.
Seeing can raise expectations and shift our gaze from Him, to self.
Seeing threatens the Enemy and a war of idols rages.
I need to remember that I didn't even believe he could do what he is now.
I need to celebrate what He has accomplished in him.
I've seen what the Boy is capable of, and I need to keep stepping back.
Choosing to give thanks, I See the miracle in Truth.
...that You don't stand over us saying Again! Again!...
...and that You show only what we need to know at the moment...
...for bringing me to more celebrating and less expecting...
...that the Boy's challenges speak to me...
...and how I grow through parenting...
...for the village it takes to raise a child, and how we all have value...
...how you keep calling me into Rest...
...how you tell me that Seeing doesn't require perfection.