I cocked my head, golden-retriever fashion, when I read this at the ripe age of 20. Was it sarcasm or cynicism? I have learned some in the last 20 years and I don't think it was either. I think it was just life. Just this side of Heaven. Just a longing for a garden pre-fall.
I remembered this little book tidbit last week when my head was throbbing. My whole entire life I have dreamed of having a grand piano. When I realized that we needed a piano at the cottage so the kids could practice while they're up there, I had a GREAT idea, which I sprung on Dave when we were driving up to the cottage. Why not buy a grand piano for our house and move the upright piano to the cottage. Win/win. Dave tried to tell me that we could save our backs and our bank account by getting a keyboard for the cottage, at which point I broke into tears. "But I've always wanted a grand piano," sob. My strength is obviously subtlety. My good, dear husband turned the car around and drove to the piano store.
And the piano came. Glossy and black and beautiful and loud. Yes, loud. Loud as in I can hear nothing else but piano. All day. I am learning to read lips. Loud as in Rose's piano teacher gave her an Indian war song to play and I hear the drum-like chords pounding in my head for long hours into the night. Loud as in, I break a sweat at the thought of Christmas music.
The kids love to practice on it, and I smile wry at the realization of this dream. If I could hear anything at all, besides Indian chords, I'm pretty sure I'd hear mosquitoes.
As I've mentioned in a previous post, Grant is 13 with a vengeance. I noticed the other day when we had friends over that he didn't participate in the sword fighting. Asked about it later he replied, "I tried to keep the warrior in." I have spent whole Bible studies learning how to make my son a warrior. I have read several books on raising a knight. But the mosquitoes are hungry these days and for goodness sakes keep.the.warrior.in. Let your warrior mature before he comes out to defend the innocent.
Rose and I home schooling together is another gondola moment complete with whining, bloodsucking insects. I love this child. I love home schooling. But something goes wrong when I try to combine the two. When Avonlea and Grant were little I used to ring a bell to begin school. They would come running down the stairs yelling, "Yay! School! What are we doing today mommy!!" (Completely legit here). This no longer happens. Rosy and I resemble wrestlers circling each other in the ring. I try to take her over her flashcards and she listens for "voices" which tell her the answers, giving math the atmosphere of a séance. The "voices" are more often wrong than not and I begin to lose my patience with the "voices". Why couldn't the "voices" belong to people who were good at math? Yesterday during flashcards as I inhaled deeply trying to keep calm and loving, Rose put her hand on my arm and said, "It's worth it mom." Mosquitoes galore in that moment.
Sometimes I can believe the idea that this life is all mosquitoes. But it's not. I actually made it to Venice. (Literally and figuratively) I love my family, my friends, my home. I love my God. There is beauty all around me. It's a little bit different than I imagined it would be, but that's what Heaven is for. It's foolish to think that life should be perfect, because if it were, what in the world would I laugh at?
And although it's humbling to hear it from my eight year old, Rose is right. It's totally worth it.
PS Rose passed "Little Indian Brave" and is on to "Beaded Moccasins".
I'm pushing for politically correct piano books.