Worst parts of the week? Garfield peeing on the piano room leather sofa. If profanity offends you, stop reading here. Personally I think there were many times Jesus would have picked a really appropriate one to get his point across. So I spent the better part of Wednesday and Thursday trying various enzymatic cleaners and solutions. Last night I finally resorted to Tide. Jury is out. If it still smells on monday morning I'll be forced to burn the house down and start over.
It's so hard to be the perfect zen piano teacher with the beautiful children bowing sweetly and making beautiful music when the sofa smells like cat urine.
The beginning of love it to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. Thomas Merton: No Man is an Island
I'm not talking about the cat.
We want each student to show up and be so clean. So prepared. So polite. So calm. So focused. But life is messy. Teaching is messy. Sometimes week after week parents pay a high fee to have you practice with their child for 45 minutes. Sometimes they don't pay. Sometimes the kids are just plum naughty.
We get sucked into wanting them to be a certain way. Our way. And sometimes they just aren't.
We can't squash them into conformity. We have a phrase around our house when things go ugly. "Can we hit the reset button?" It gives us all a chance to start over. Start the conversation over. Start the behavior over. Start the lesson over.
We are training the heart. Love the kid. Fix the behavior. And when you can't fix the behavior, keep loving the kid. Note to self. . . when my kids are naughtiest--that's when they need the most love. . . oh yeah. . . I forgot. Fix the behavior. Don't get sucked into the drama.
Give the parents the faith that it's all going to be okay. Your child is perfect and will play the piano very well along the way.
Love the kid.
Fix the behavior.
Love the cat. . .
Hmmmmm. How to fix the cat?
I'm better with kids.
I would never throw an entire load of laundry at a child.
How to let those we influence be perfectly themselves, but perfectly their best selves. Therein lies the skill. To see God's light in each person we come in contact with. And have a little faith that if we keep behaving properly and setting an example, everything will be okay. And they will play piano very well along the way.