A Christmas Lesson

My firstborn is an overachiever. She works hard at everything she does. This is good and sometimes frustrating. Because who can excel all the time?
In school, she just completed a three week Recorder session in music. This was the first time in her nearly 10 years that she’s ever picked up an instrument, much less learned to read music.
[I am probably the most unmusical person in Texas. Let me put it this way, I took piano lessons for 2 years and never found Middle C.]
My daughter loved playing her Recorder.  She played it constantly during those three weeks (and I took a lot of Ibuprofen). 
A couple of times a week during the session, each student tested (similar to Karate) and received a “belt” (a colored piece of yarn) tied to the end of the Recorder. Each color signified a level, which is a big deal in the fourth grade.
The last testing day, my daughter missed a note. She was given a second chance and she missed it again. 
She didn’t get her “black” belt. (Only a few kids did and I think most of them played the piano or some other instrument).
Oh, the tears and devastation this brought my girl. (Hello, hormones).
I didn’t know what to say. In the scope of life, this isn’t a big deal. But she felt so proud of herself for all she’d learned, talked about playing a Flute or Clarinet someday and raised her self esteem about 2.5 notches.
And then I had an idea, “Why don’t we find some Christmas songs and you can practice them for the next three or four weeks and give a little concert for our family at Christmas. You can even dress up!”
I saw the glint in her eyes and smiled.
My good friend, Robin, emailed some of her Flute music and I bought more Ibuprofen
There were a few more tears shed over a particularly difficult note, in which, unmusical as I am, insisted that a note on the Recorder cannot be broken! “It’s a hole.”
I recorded these songs during one of her practices. I am very proud of her…not so much for the music she makes, but for not giving up.
We both learned a lot from this lesson.
I hope your Christmas is blessed and you enjoy a wonderful time with family and friends. We’re staying close to home and looking forward to it.
I’m taking a little break until next week. Merry Christmas, from our house to yours.

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  1. 1


    She did FABULOUS!!

    I learned how to play the recorder when I was about her age and loved it. And guess what I found while looking for some Christmas stuff….yep, my recorder!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to THAT Family from the GreekGRITS household!

  2. 7


    Thats was awesome. Recorder is a required class for my kids in school and they enjoy it. My daughter plays the drums in the school band as well and loves it. I think it is awesome she worked so hard and accomplished her goal.

    Merry christmas to you and That family I hope you have a wonderful few days.

  3. 9

    Rachel in KCMO says

    You know that little lump in the back of the throat that lets you know you are getting choked up? Well, I thought I was going to cry during "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful," but I held it together. Then she played AMAZING GRACE – my very favorite song – and I lost it. I don't know if it was the song, seeing her play, or what, but GOD touched me while she played!! PLEASE tell her for me that she plays like an angel! God bless you both!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Rachel :)

  4. 10


    Oh Well Done!!! Life is so tough when you are ten and even tougher when you are the mother to the ten year old… I am sure we feel their pain more than they do!!! Lots of love to you all!!!

  5. 11


    She did superbly. That was a lot to learn in a very short time – an amazing achievement that she can be very proud of – Hurrah!

    Merry Christmas
    Chris x

  6. 15


    She did fabulously!! And that's great how hard she works to succeed – hopefully that carries into adulthood and maybe we'll have our first female president! Christmas at the Whitehouse doesn't sound to shabby, eh? Haha she did great in her music video! Four thumbs up! (Mister Monster & Myself listened) Have a great day!

  7. 16


    Tell her that she can absolutely play the flute or clarinet. I think I sounded much worse than that when I played the recorder in elementary school, but I had a perfectly fine career as a middle and high school clarinet player. Keep it up!

  8. 17


    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!! If you don't routinely read Vicki Courtney, check out her blog sometime. Recently she had a post about how our children don't fail enough and aren't tested enough (parents jump in to soothe the hurts instead of allowing them to hurt) so when trials come-and as we know, they WILL come-they don't know how to stand up. You are an awesome mommy, letting her cry and then suggesting a perfect way for her to soldier on. Have a wonderful celebration day with your children!!!

  9. 26


    Please tell your daughter that I was thrilled listening to her music. Even my Dad, who is living with us (and NOT a Christian) thought it was beautiful. How's that for a great ministry, eh!

  10. 27

    Anonymous says

    That is one of the sweetest things I've seen/heard in a long time! I'm always a little melancholy the day after Christmas and the music and scenes choked me up a little…in a good way! It reminded me of the innocence and wonder in a child's heart at Christmas and warmed my heart. By the way, I am a collector of Nativity scenes too. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family!

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