Monday, April 17, 2006

My little violinist has totally shocked me

Bria has been playing the violin for about 2 1/2 years now. She's really getting quite good...something just clicked in the last few months and her progress has just shot upward. It has been really amazing for us to watch.

Even so, she is so not into playing for other people. I suppose this is normal, but at her last three recitals she flat out refused to play. She'd get up in the front when it was her turn, stand there, look around and sit back down. She actually did play at the last one, but only under extreme duress and the promise of purple lipstick (that's what she wanted most) when she was done. True to our word, we took her straight to the store and she picked out her Bratz purple lipstick with matching nail polish. Ah the power lipstick holds...she is her mother's daughter.

Not only is she not into playing in front of others, she really doesn't like to practice all that much. No supposing here...I know this is normal. I never much liked practicing when I was young, either. So, I've resorted to using all sorts of bribes in the past: One M&M for every song she played. A trip to the mall playground if she practiced for x amount of time. All you moms know the drill...all these tricks we have up our sleeves to get our kids to do what they're supposed to do anyway., Joel's brother and his girlfriend were coming over for Easter dinner. We don't see them very often because they live in Utah like every other family member we have. I casually mentioned to Bria the other day that Uncle Sean plays the cello and he would just love to hear her play her violin. Yesterday, she actually asked if she could please practice. Who am I to say no to that...and on a Saturday to boot! That's usually the hardest day to get her to practice! Then, today after Church she wanted to practice again. She didn't want to stop. I honestly got so tired of playing the piano for her that I had to sit on the couch and listen to her play sans accompaniment. And then I really needed to get a few things done, but she didn't want to quit. So she took her violin CD in her room and practiced by herself for another half an hour. Get this: My five year old, who normally complains that her arm is too tired after 10 minutes of practice, practiced for an entire hour and a half today. Joel and I were astounded...especially that she was doing it in her room with the door closed without adult supervision. SHOCKING.

And when Uncle Sean came, she played all of her songs for him and even wanted to play them a second time. Only the promise of pie made her stop. This is my child who has rarely played for anyone other than Joel and me. And you know what? Today I think she played better than she ever has. Probably because she has finally found enjoyment and fulfillment in it. I know it came to a point like that with me...I could play well enough that it wasn't a struggle all the time, and I wanted to practice. And I could play "fun" music, and it really became more of a fun thing to practice the piano instead of a huge chore. So, at five years old, I am hoping that Bria has at least had a glimpse of that point even if she isn't quite there yet. I sure won't complain if she wants to be practicing for an hour a day!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sweet Bria

I know I've been neglecting my blog lately. I honestly feel like I have nothing to write about. Life is pretty blah right now...we have no idea what we'll be doing after Joel graduates, I am feeling better but by no means great, the kids are doing their normal kid stuff, and I just kind of feel like I've been hanging in limbo. Just nothing going on.

But I thought I should at least come up with something...

Today I've been going through piles of the kids' artwork/schoolwork. I keep the very best stuff (and it had better be REALLY good), scan the best and pretty good stuff into the computer so I can throw it away, and just throw away the rest. This is a project that has to be done in secret, because both kids, but especially Bria, get really upset if they find their masterpieces in the garbage.

"MOM! You can't throw this away! I made this at school!!!!"

And yes, they actually dig through the garbage. Okay, so they aren't really dumpster divers, but they always catch me if I just casually throw things away in the kitchen, because a) they see me do it, or b) they go to put something in the trash and see the evidence, pull it out, and call me on it.

So, anyway, back to today. I usually just throw it all in a basket by the computer...and if you have seen this basket recently, you will know that it overfloweth with artwork. Obviously, I haven't been feeling well enough to keep up with many aspects of my normal life, and going through artwork has definitely been something to be put on the back burner. Unfortunately, my health has not stopped my little artists from creating more and more and more...

Ummm...Lara? Are you ever going to get to the point?

Oh, sorry. Well, in going through the mountain today (and I still have quite a bit more), I found at least ten little pictures drawn for me by Bria. And they all say "I love you Mom." It actually brought tears to my eyes when I realized how many of these things she draws for me. She really hasn't gotten the best of me lately. I'm pretty much a hormonal mess anyway, but my crankiness peaks right around 3:00 in the afternoon. Just in time for my precious little kindergartener to come home. And I am so impatient with her many days. I'm starting to feel better, and so I have tried really hard to not be so cranky with her...

Sometimes being a mom is just hard. These tender little souls are put in our care, and (speaking for myself if you're perfect at it, please don't feel you have to listen) so many times I just forget to remember that, because I get so caught up in how I feel, or all the many things I need to get done, or whatever. When, in reality, if I just step back and look at how great my kids are and how hard they are trying to make me happy, I would calm down.