Sunday, April 17, 2011
Wisdom from an eleven year old sage...
I have tears in my eyes.
My son, Tom wanted to stop playing piano. He said: It's just not fun for me! This brought up a lot of stuff for me. And yet I did my best to listen with empathy. To get my own pre-conceptions out of the way.
I guessed his different feelings and needs. His frustration. He didn't want his teacher to be hurt, he didn't want to face the moment of saying "goodbye" to her. ( He knows she really cares for him and thinks he's good) And yet I heard my self saying things like: "if you want to succeed at anything you need to practice a lot and it's not always fun" (mmmm, is that true? ) He answered: what has that got to do with it? (he's right. what does it have to do with it?)
We went over different aspects, I offered solutions, ideas, but mostly I heard his tears and his heart crying out for something.
I know how you feel, I said
Well I remember that when I was a child and playing piano, I stopped because the piano was in the basement and I was soooo scared to be there, and even more scared to tell my Mom I was scared. And then, played flute...and then we moved to Israel, for me a new land, though my homeland, and all the support system of the school in the States was gone. And no one else in my new class played...and... and I stopped. Also I know about the pitfalls of being an artist in any field. How easy distractions come in. How easily I doubt.
I also noticed that I was trying to convince him to continue. I noticed tension in my body.
Suddenly I said: Ok Tom, you can stop. you know I won't force you.
Really? he asked , suddenly surprised.
I let go, I really let go. I felt it in my body. I felt him relax.
Came to the computer ( which is in the living room, where the piano is too), Started to read , tweet etc. Suddenly, out of the blue, Tom starts playing. After a few moments, he says:
I've decided to continue.
Yes, he said
I remembered that sometimes there are obstacles in life. I can either overcome them, or get stuck.
And with that , he resumed playing for another half an hour, happily
He is eleven.
All I can say is I'm humbled, privileged to have this soul as my child.
Posted by Yael Brisker at Sunday, April 17, 2011