Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Adventures in Parenting

The other day Bailey had his violin lesson. The teacher often asks him to play with a cd for accompaniment, and this day was no exception. She asked him to first play the song by itself and he did a great job. She smiled and nodded and hit the play button on the cd player. Well, he screwed up the song completely. At the end of it, the teacher nicely said, "oh well, too bad, let's go on to the next one."

Bailey calmly looked at her and working very hard to control himself, practically whispered, "no, we'll do this one again."

There was something in his voice that said there was no arguing with him. I didn't intervene and the teacher, with raised eyebrows simply hit the play button on the cd player once again for the same song.

This time he played it perfectly.

I'm proud of him for his perseverence. I think that type of attitude: work hard until you get it right - will take him far in life. I just don't want him to be a little perfectionist or be too hard on himself. Would it have been better for him to have simply gone on to the next song? The teacher obviously knows that he can play that particular song very well. At what point do you have to say "oops" and simply move on? And how on earth do I explain that difference to my nine-year-old son?

When he was a baby and he would get hurt, I could kiss it and make it better and life was good. We have been learning of late that as Bailey grows, there are some hurts that even a mommy can't make better. This is hard work indeed. But I wouldn't trade it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed that he wanted to try again. At that age (and now?) I would have gone on to the next song and then felt like a failure the rest of the day for having taken the easy way out. Now I've spent 5 years in therapy to understand that the easy way out is just fine: you don't always have to do things the hardest way possible. Of course, if you just tackle the hard way first, do it right, and get it over with, you don't have to go home worrying at all. I think you're doing a veeerrrry good job as a parent, Aimee. Very thoughtful.