Our house is full of music. I just love it that way. Not that I love every kind of music, not by a long shot. Chris and I had very particular ideas about raising children, and music played an important part.
I think I’ve told you here that we started each of the kids in piano when they were five. I found some terrific teachers, a couple of intuitives named Kathie Gedden, first, and Bob Coursen , later on. Bob and Kathy were magnificent piano players, and intuitive teachers of little children. Neither went to school specifically to teach piano, it just seemed to come from the heart.
I have been talking with a friend of mine in recent days about things that come from the heart. We differ on one important point, my friend and I. I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that nothing worth having is ever easy. Raising children is such a great example of this.
We have just waded back into the Christmas Snowstorm of 2011. We spent a few days down in Denver at the Brown Palace. I took the girls to TJ Maxx for some clothes, it’s such a great bargain basement place to go. When Rachael lost her daddy, she retreated for a while into food, so now she’s a little tricky to fit. She’s also a buxom lass, which is quite a thing to adjust to at barely 14.
My kids are such lights to me, but especially Rachael. The last of my four children, she just finished up the winter performance run at the Children’s Chorale. They sing like angels, and because of her years of musical training, she’s among the best of the bunch. She has this sunny smile that rarely leaves her face, even with the fiery scars of recent years showing behind her eyes.
We waded through the racks at the store, and I was struck with a certain kind of melancholy. No more baby clothes, no more ‘Tweens’ , no more goofy teenage fads. My Rachael has a womanly body, and her mind is quickly catching up.
Peace, peace. My daughter is growing up, and my husband isn’t here to see it. Peace. I am a lucky woman, to have such gifts. I wish, even now, that the father of my children could see what amazing, gifted people they are becoming, and maybe he is, somewhere.
Raising them was an incredible amount of work, and it still is. Almost crushing now, sometimes. I must teach them about so many things, both with words, and especially by example. But there is nothing I’d rather do, no place I would rather be.
We continued to search, and selected some things that fit properly. I headed to the register, and Rachael bounced up to me.
“Look Mom! I’m tall!” She was. (She isn’t, truly. I’m nearly five nine, a good five inches taller.) She pranced around me, taller.
“Look at these boots! They have roses!” She had on a pair of stylish, grown up boots, from the markdown rack. With roses stamped on the bottoms of the heels. Her little face gleamed with pleasure, my baby, enthralled with something shiny.
“Can I get them?” She waited, expectantly.
Shall I go over budget? What can we learn here? How can I make this the best for my daughter? Shall I teach her something with this? Who can I ask, what will I do? What difference would it make?
“Of course, sweetheart.” She danced off, out the door, into the snow.
And she shall leave roses, where ever she goes.
A gift to you: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day, By Casting Crowns.