“The children, the children, I can’t forget the children…”
This morning when my alarm went off I had finally gotten warm, comfortable and sleeping soundly again. I wanted more than anything not to get up to go to orchestra. I wanted to stay and exercise, to visit with my husband after he got back so late from his business trip, to practice music with my children, to get caught up on all the laundry, bills, gardening, and everything that I was behind on. To not have to rush.
But I remembered that I had promised the children in orchestra the week before that I would be there ON TIME. And after learning that our director had to move and wouldn’t be to any more rehearsals, I knew that I needed to be there to keep my commitment.
So I got up. And made the children get up. Threatened them that they wouldn’t be able to play all weekend if they were not in the car on time.
They did it. They were there. And we made it on time to set up the chairs and stands and carry on with our rehearsal.
When I was setting up chairs and stands with Peter and Anna, I recognized that they were learning about service and sacrifice, even without knowing it. And when I was playing “Irish Washerwoman” with our orchestra, with Peter on my right and Anna on my left, and seeing another child working so hard to play and considering the beautiful progress he’s made in such a short time, and hearing everyone play in unison a song that was a stretch for them when we began, I felt satisfied that I had come. Their faces, their smiles, the music: it makes it all worth it. And I wonder why I was so stressed out the day before when I was considering needing to step back into the role of director again.
Then I gathered my teaching supplies and headed to kindergarten to teach music. The children looked up with smiling faces and jumped into singing as soon as I began to sing and sign, “Time for some Delicious Music, Yum, Yum, Yum!” And as I listened to our little guest performer play “Allegro” on her cello (spinning it in the middle!), and heard another student call out “AMAZING!” at the end, I wondered how I could ever stop teaching kindergarten music! It just makes me so happy!
As I climbed into my car, I thought of those faces. Those angel faces. Each child is precious. It is such a gift to teach them.
Soon this will all be a memory. The school year will be over. I still hold to my personal commitment to take a break from teaching at the school next year, because I know that in the service of God, there are always a multitude of needs, and I can serve where I am needed, and that is what matters. Perhaps I will return to teaching the kindergarteners the next year or some other year in the future. But next year I will have a missionary returning home, a daughter graduating from high school, and 5 other children and my husband with their own needs. (Simply keeping up with my family is enough!) I have family history to do. I have private music lessons to teach. I will pray to see what is the best way I can use my talents and resources to support my family first and then others second.
But what a gift it has been. What a treasure!
(The line “The children, the children, I can’t forget the children” from the musical “The King and I” often comes to mind when I think about the blessings of serving in my children’s school.)