Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Life's Rhythm

When I was younger, I took piano lessons in a mint green house from my best friend's mom.  I don't know where she kept her reservoir of patience hidden, but she seemed to never run out.  My lack of musical talent must have had her dipping into her surplus tank as I tripped across those measures, each note more like a crack in a sidewalk then a ripe fruit waiting to be plucked by nimble fingers.  My hands became even more confused when she brought out the metronome.  tick. tick. tick.  The little woodpecker picking a hole in my brain, I could barely think.
I can't even clap along to a song.  If I'm lucky enough to be standing by someone who knows what they're doing, I'll tune out the song and focus all my energy on watching their hands, guiding me into the world of rhythm.  After a few rounds I get a little cocky and think "I got this.  Easy"  So I'll add a little shoulder or foot tap.  Big mistake.  Its a race to find my guide again before anyone notices the girl who can't clap.
And Zander on the drums?   Thats pure quantum physics.

I was thinking about this as I was pushing Cora on the swing.  Back and forth under the porch in our back yard.  Forth she would fly out under the sun, yellow curls an impossible mess, glowing, then back to me under the shade for another push on her back.  Over and over again and nearly every day.  

I finally found a rhythm I'm good at.  My own.  Day in and day out with 3 unruly and fascinating children and 1 man equal to their spunk and magic we rise, eat, play, work, and sleep

Even then, though, I'll find myself with stumbling fingers, completely making a mess of the measures.
"Zander, I feel so overwhelmed, panicky.  What am I going to do?"  I'm known to ask this in the mornings before he leaves for work.

He pulls out the metronome.  It begins its rhythmic ticking. 
"Just love the kids today Leslie."  I don't think I've ever told him how purely pragmatic that response is to me.  It changes everything.  It keeps me from feeling frustrated that I'm not a musical prodigy.  It frees me from playing some other composers piece to playing the one me and the kids create. Listening to the One who loves me changes the way I do the dishes, wipe stinky butts, discipline the cats and dogs, plan for dinner, and the way I see myself as a mother, as a human being, as just plain jane me.  When I love, I find myself with the strength not to sit idle in my fears or not to panic because I'm not living up to some great expectation.  I'm just living this life of mine in freedom.

 The kids standing on top of the dirt pile.  Ender came out one afternoon to find this particular dirt pile and his eyes lit up and his jaw dropped.  "Mama!  There's a dirt pile!  Is it for me? Did you make it for me!?"  (uhh sure kid)  "YES Ender, Just for you!"  Zander likes it because Gunther will poop on it and then it rolls down the little hill getting coated in a light powder of dirt which helps with flies and cleaning up too, I guess.  I'm trying to eradicate this though.

They are always begging us to take them in the alley when we take out the trash.  Its always a no because they never are wearing shoes and by the time they get their shoes on, the task is completed.  They recently got new easy slip on rain boots so they were elated to bust out of the shelter of their backyard to see what lies beyond its borders. 
Now that I think about it, I used to love riding my bike up and down the alleys.  One of the best producing pomegranate bushes there ever was grew up and over an alley wall.  That was "Arcadia" though, this is straight up Coronado. 

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