That's not what this blog is about. I would like to be as truthful as I can but I think it is in all of us to capture those really good moments so that we have beautiful memories to look back at.
I don't have it all and it is certainly not easy being a FTWM and a homeschooling one too. There are many moments where I struggle, get too hung up on 'results' and that I face a roadblock be it working on Dumpling's mannerisms or we hit a plateau during homeschool. I too get tired, cranky and lose focus once in a while. Why I stuck with what I do will be another post altogether and I will get to that post very soon. But for this post, I like to share something heartfelt and something not that easy to write.
In the homelearning group that I moderate and in my day to day dealings with parents of preschoolers (I am in the EC industry), it is very apparent that no matter what the "garmen" says, the primary school system is indeed punishing. I recently saw a Ting Xie list (Chinese spelling of perhaps 40 short 'everyday' phrases of 4 words each) for a 9YO Ting Xie test and I had to just naively ask if it is a term's work (of which the answer is no.).
It is no wonder that all these bring out the worst in many of us, yours truly included. But interestingly, it is in these moments that I learn and 'grow' through praying for grace. See the scratch below? This scratch will always be a permanent reminder for me to focus on only the important stuff.
This scratch happened only when the violin was less than a month old when Dumpling upgraded to a larger violin. I was cranky after a long day at work, dealing with well 'difficult' parents and in Dumpling's violin notebook, the teacher had a note on getting her to practise scales, some techniques and also to monitor some other technical setups. She tried a few times and I was 'trying' too. I had to correct her over and over again when she 'zoned out' and after failing to get her to pay attention, I snapped. I basically told her it was her choice of instrument and if she wants to learn, then learn it properly. If she is not gonna be 'serious' about it (yes, I used that word on a 5YO), we might as well stop. YUP, I SAID THOSE AWFUL WORDS.
That didn't go down too well with her as she was very upset and we had a tug of war - me pulling the violin from her and she, pulling it back because she said she wanted to try again. And that's how we ended with that battle scar. The violin costs about half a G by the way and I was devastated to see this ugly, 'in-your-face-inch-long' scratch especially when it was so new.
To say that I went ballistic was an understatement.
After some time where we both took a break, Dumpling came to me to say "Mama, I am sorry. I am sorry that we quarreled and I am sorry that we scratched the violin. But thank goodness, it was only a scratch."
At that moment, I was so ashamed of myself. My 5YO kiddo had no qualms coming to me to apologise and was so gracious as to even try her best to comfort me. I was deeply humbled and yes, thank goodness it was only a scratch on the violin where it is easily replaceable. What if these quarrels had cost a permanent scar in our relationship? Moments like these teach me grace and lead me to breathe deeply and think about what prompted me to take on coaching her on all these activities on my own. It is LOVE. I wanted her to encourage her love for knowledge, to nurture that love for questioning and to also continue to love music yet I was doing it so wrong that night.
I once read - if someone were to gift you with a present, would you have thrown it or break it? Not likely. Yet, so often, we end up being so short and so harsh with our "gifts" from God. Isn't that a great irony?
If we would not break these earthly presents, why would we break the bond, trust, love and respect between our child(ren) and us, especially the gift that God has bestowed us with? Let this be a gentle reminder to us all not to lose sight but focus on the most important thing - LOVE. Have a blessed week ahead.