This is what it’s all about really; it’s why we pore over program schedules to figure out what activities to nudge our children toward, why we opt for frozen pizza over a home-cooked meal many school nights, why we find ourselves driving all over town to shuttle our children from point a to b. Like anything else, balance is required. At some point in our kids’ growing-up years we need to discern how many activities to involve them in to protect family and homework time. In a city (and country) like ours, opportunities abound, but even so we don’t need to do it all. Eventually we find middle ground, choosing the pursuits that matter most to our families and committing to them. Sometimes it still feels impossible, crazy. We are drained from the busyness.
And then comes May, the month of recitals and end-of-year ceremonies. And that’s when a school year full of schedules and driving and relentless prodding offers its rewards. It’s when week after week of practice and more practice unfolds into something beautiful. We watch our children place their fingers on a piano and magic happens. A whole year more of lessons has brought them to the next level, and we look at them in awe and allow joy to seep into our bodies. It feels wonderful to see the progress and know they were growing after all. For most of the year, fall and winter, we couldn’t see the obvious signs of growth. It happened too slowly for our eyes to detect. We wondered at times if anything at all was happening. But then came spring. The sun began luring our little plants through the earth, and the movement upward that had been taking place all along finally becomes apparent to us.
In those moments, we parents sit in the audience, breathless, because we have just witnessed a miracle. It is no small matter at all. The seeds we are preparing to burst through the soil are our gifts to the world. These flowers, if we are patient and steadfast in the nurturing phase, will make the world a better place.