Sunday, March 16, 2014

A steady rain is falling, and I for one am glad.

I looked at show times at the cheap theater. Neither Frozen nor The Lego Movie nor any other film we'd like to see is playing, and I for one am glad.

After Mass, I plan to plant myself firmly on the couch and read to Ainsley and oohh and ahhh over John's Lego creations and listen to Tim play the piano and do very little else. I look forward to a tremendously boring week. Yes, a week free of events, bereft of diversions, no thrills, no frills, dull, monotonous, slow.

We have had an exciting month.  Good, good stuff, vacation and academic competitions and sports. But I am now worn slap out with Dave out of town quite a bit and kids needing to go hither and yon with this gear or that project and logistics that would boggle the mind of a city planner and phone calls and more phone calls and a few zillion texts.

This week we're staying put, and when we leave the house, we're all going together to the very same place without a single thought as to who needs a house key and who's taking the spare cell phone and how will we manage to eat at three different times, in three different places.

I plan to pass a week in Dullsville, with the most exciting event being Tim getting braces on Tuesday and, perhaps, John scoring another two points in pee wee basketball. (We're up to a career total of four points now, and I'm pretty much feeling like Michael Jordan's mother. Yes, I am.)

Faced with a staggering To Do List of late, I have pondered shutting down Ye Olde Blog. It takes a surprising amount of time that I clearly do not have at present. Then I had a conversation with a friend, and she reminded me of why I had started blogging the first place. It wasn't to make money. It wasn't to build a platform. It was to capture memories. It was to have a creative outlet.

But then I started to write and eventually some people outside my family and close friends started to read. And the thing is, this changes what you write about. If this were a family-only blog, I would have come home Friday from an exhausting day in Atlanta and shouted in 72 point type, "Tim won first place in his piano competition!" And I would have come home Saturday from a slightly less exhausting day in Aiken and shouted, "Kolbe and his partner came in third place in the regional science fair!"

But when you're writing for a larger audience (be sure to check out the number of subscribers I have to see just how large), I don't know, such pronouncements seem to scream vanity, vanity.

But I am so proud of Tim, so happy for Kolbe.

And for the future me who looks back on this blog to remember those memories that are so sharp now, but will be so hazy someday soon, let me just add the details about Mr. T. Last week, Tim played a piano piece at our community Lord's Day Meal. You know, there's nothing tougher than the home crowd. Nothing tougher. He was terribly nervous. But he did it. A week later we took part in a Literary and Music Competition, and he played so well. I looked up at him seated at the grand piano in front of all our friends and quickly flashed back to his very first recital when Timmy, age 6, plunked out Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee and didn't use the pedals because his feet dangled a foot above them.

About two years ago something shifted with Tim. He developed a love for playing piano. Not always a love for practicing, mind you, but a love for playing. If he was stressed or tired or worried, he'd sit down at the piano and play fast and furiously. Scott Joplin seemed to be the Muse best able to conquer his angst. At his last recital, I wanted Tim to play Chopin; he chose Let It Be by The Beatles. I swear I still hear it in my sleep. Last fall Tim thanked me for the years and years of sending him off to piano; for the endless reminders to practice, practice, practice; for the money we've poured into this venture. The other night we shared dinner with friends of ours. The dad, a former student of mine, is a gifted pianist. After dinner, Nick and Tim sat at the piano for nearly an hour playing different bits, discussing various composers, picking out chords. Nick handed Tim sheet music by Rachmaninoff and challenged Tim to learn it. He's been picking it apart measure by measure since then.

Kids change. Some changes seem to happen overnight. The baby-faced twelve-year-old breaks out. The voice goes from soprano to bass in a flash. Other changes seem positively glacial. I remember a line from Alice in Wonderland: The thing about a magic door is that you can't see it until you've gone through it. Tim has crossed through some magical doors of late, and Tim and I have crossed through some magical doors together.

All of this leaves me tremendously hopeful for the remaining glaciers in my life, tremendously grateful for the place in which we live, tremendously mindful of a providential God who has numbered the hairs on our heads, who has counted all our tears, who has gone to prepare a place for us.


Kris said...

This made me choke up a bit. Tim reminds me of my oldest boy, also a lover of the piano. He stopped lessons when he got to high school because he really didn't have the time to practice as he would have liked, but he still loves to play for his own enjoyment. He made a college decision over the weekend, and we are not making plans to ship him off in August, after we celebrate graduation in May. It flies by SO fast, and even though it seems eons away when they are 12 or 13, it really isn't. At this point, time is flashing before my very eyes and I just want to slow it down and savor these last few months with my "baby".

Karen Webb said...

I just wanted to say thank you for writing. YOu have encouraged me when times have been tough and challenged me to focus my parenting more on creating a relationship with God for my children. You have been blessed with a gift for both seeing things and being able to write about them. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Karen

Kelly Dolin said...

Kris, Yes, yes. We need to enjoy all of this. Now. Savor away!

Karen, What a,kind comment. Thank you so much. Ya made my day.