We had a concert last week for the choir that my daughter and I are singing in. All week, we had several four-hour long practices. We went over everything as it was all required to be memorized and that can be quite difficult when you are my age! I thought I would never accomplish so great a feat! Ten songs, all memorized. Both the words and the music easy to understand and exactly what the director wanted.
We also have two student conductors. They are both majoring in music and are leaving to go on to a University in the fall. They each composed or arrainged a piece of music for the choir to sing. These songs were very important to each of them. The music was so important to these two young men that they made us practice their pieces over and over and over again! Miracle was pretty frustrated because she thought we needed to work equally on all the music. (Her sense of fairness is highly developed!)
Miracle asked me why we were spending so much time on them. I explained to her that they had wrote these pieces and wanted them performed in the best way possible. They had sweated over the music, re-wrote the music several times, listened to the music probably thousands of times, and agonized over the placement of each note, word, dynamic and pause. They each knew what they wanted the music to sound like. They knew what message they wanted to come across. Their minds knew, but they had to get that knowing into sound. They not only wanted the piece to be perfect, they wanted us to sound perfect. They wanted us to be amazing!
Sometimes, we, as mothers, can be just like these student conducters. We know all the good things about our children. We know what their potential is, we know what they are, and we have a glimps of what they can become. We want them to be the nearly perfect vision that we have of them. I used to tell my older children when they were much younger, "I am going to love you no matter what choices you make. You could be in jail and I would visit you and love you. But my job as a mother is to help you become the kind of person that other people will also love. I am supposed to teach you to behave in a manner that will show the rest of the world what kind of person I know you really are."
Sometimes, in our quest to teach our children how to be, we may be just like those two student conductors in music. We may forget the "encouragement" part that goes along with mothering and focus completely on the correction part of mothering. We just might forget to acknowledge the successes and spend a little too much time remembering the mistakes.
In my own quest for perfection, I sometimes forget that my children are not in the same place yet. They are still growing, learning and becoming. They are still improving day by day. And just like that music composition, they will get there, as we continue to love them, validate them, and pray for them.
Our children are our greatest composition masterpieces. Let us remember and celebrate what they are now as well as what they can become.
"The mother, more than any other, affects the moral and spiritual part of the children's character. She is their constant companion and teacher in formative years. The child is ever imitating and assimilating the mother's nature. It is only in after life that men gaze backward and behold how a mother's hand and heart of love molded their young lives and shaped their destiny."- E.W. Caswell
"The noblest calling in the world is that of mother. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece or who can write a book that will influence millions deserves the plaudits and admiration of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters whose immortal souls will be exerting an influence throughout the ages long after painting shall have faded, and books and statues shall have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that man can give."- David O. McKay