Challenges of Parenting

It was about an hour before my organ lesson. I really didn't want to practice the organ that day. I was whining inside my head, making up a million excuses why not do participate in the lesson that day.

my 7 year-old self decided I was going to play sick. I went to my room, and pretended I was asleep. A few minutes before my lesson, my mom was calling out for me and I didn't respond. She found me in my bed "asleep".

"Are you ok?" she asked. I responded with a moan and "I don't feel good". She felt my head, stroked my hair, then left my room. A few minutes later, the door bell rang and I heard my mom and organ teacher talking about canceling the lesson because I wasn't feeling well. They both came into my room, talking over me in my bed. I remember peeking a look and seeing the heads of my mom and teacher looking at me. A few more words were exchanged and they left my room.

Until today, I'm not sure if my mom really believed I was sick. But that day was the beginning my my whining and complaining about my organ lessons. I don't really remember if I enjoyed playing the organ or not. I just remember agonizing over the lessons and practice.

Today, I'm envious of my peers who can play a musical instrument and I think to myself, "I wish I had just stuck with my lessons". I even think of my parents who succumbed to my whining and let me give up on my lessons. My husband didn't enjoy his piano lessons as a kid either so he quit also.

Life has come full-circle because now my 6 year old Jelo is in his second year of piano lessons. Last winter, he too started the whining about lessons and practice so we took a break from piano lessons during the holidays. I didn't want to give it up completely. I gave Jelo, and me, the chance to step away from the lessons for a bit and see if we really wanted to stick with it. When the new year came, I asked him "Do you really want to quit piano?". I was surprised when his answer was "No, I want to play piano again".

Thus, the lessons picked back up again. During the actual lessons with his piano teacher, Jelo is pleasant and the whining is absent. But the whining and complaining is non-stop when sitting with me or dad during practice. The frustration over the piano keyboard has slowly increased over the past few months. Every once in a while I'd ask Jelo again, "Do you want to quit piano?" The answer was always "No."

This past week I reached my limit with the battle of sitting with Jelo to get him to practice his piano. The stress of hearing him whine and complain was more than I want to deal with with the dozens of other stressful things I deal with during the day.

One last time, I asked Jelo "Do you really want to quit piano? If you really don't like it, you can quit". Again I was surprised with his answer, "I want to keep playing piano but when it gets hard, I want to quit".  I gave him a big hug and had the "there are lots of difficult things you'll deal with in life, but we don't quit" talk. He attentively listened and returning my hug.

I love my son so wanting to stick with his piano lessons. I love him even more for admitting that its difficult for him. I have to admit, this has been the most challenging part of being a parent for me thus far. I've found that this will be the first of many situations like this. I pray that which each challenging situation growing up, he'll find it within himself to keep going. I pray that I'll be the best parent I can be to support him during thoue tough times.

I hope that Jelo will take my advice, that I didn't from my parents, the piano lessons "will all be worth it in the end".