Wendy at her very first harp lesson
When Ryan and I were newlyweds and discussing our future children, we decided that when it comes to extra curricular activities, we would let each of our children, participate in one physical activity and one artistic/musical activity. Ryan had this grand plan to have each one of our children start piano lessons as soon as possible practice at least an hour a day before homework, then, when they turned 12 years old he would allow them to switch to a different instrument if they wanted to.
When Wendy was about 3 1/2 or 4 years old she saw a young girl play the harp in church and decided she wanted to skip this whole "piano til your 12" thing and go straight for the harp.
A week ago we met with Wendy's future harp teacher for the first time. We discussed schedules, finances, and what to expect. The teacher wanted to meet Wendy and get a feel for her personality and readiness level. But Wendy wouldn't talk! I have NEVER seen my child like this. "Wendy, what's your favorite subject in school?" Lips closed she stares at the floor. "Are you a good student, Wendy? Do you like school?" Nothing. "What are some of your friends names?" She doesn't even move her eyes from the floor a little. At that point, I can't stand it anymore and interject, "Wendy! Sweetheart, why aren't you talking? Tell her just three of your friends names." At this point, her cheeks turn red and I think she's about to cry, so I stopped pushing it. I don't know if she was just overwhelmed or intimidated but it was weird. When we left that night, I told her she didn't have to take harp lessons if she didn't want to. I wondered if I was pushing it on her, like trying to live vicariously through her, but she said she still wanted to. She had told all her friends that she was having her first harp lesson that night, so I KNOW she was excited about it. But when Ryan or I tried to talk to her about what happened, she just said she didn't want to talk about it. I just told her that if she wanted to take lessons she'd have to look her teacher in the eye and talk to her because it's rude to ignore adults.
The next week, on the night before she would start actual lessons, in her bedtime prayers she prayed that she wouldn't be shy and that she'd have the courage to talk to her harp teacher. I thought it was so sweet. I knew in that moment she'd be okay because she wanted to be okay.
Wendy's first harp lesson was last night. I felt so many emotions watching her ... but mostly I felt proud. Proud that she had the courage to look her teacher in the eye and speak up (even if her voice was much quieter than normal), proud of the fight in her that motivated her to step outside her comfort zone for something she wanted so badly, proud of her determination to take in what her teacher was saying to learn and grow. I'm so thankful I had the chance to give her this opportunity and that I got to witness it. On the way to our car, after her lesson was over, she asked me if she could play in the church talent show at the end of this month. I love the faith she has in herself to become a talented harpist and I know that because of that faith and her determination, she will do it. (I just gotta help her keep the faith if/when practicing becomes a chore).
I know everyone says it, but I cannot believe how fast my baby is growing up! The whole day she was saying and doing things that made her seem so old. And surprisingly, it didn't bum me out. Actually, I was really enjoying her witty, six year old sense of humor. I'm excited to watch her develop this new talent that she already seems so passionate about. I seriously love this girl!
After only 3 weeks of lessons!