Thursday, May 26, 2011

Metronome Hearts by Bloom Guest Meg

Do you know what a metronome is? It is a device used in music to help you keep tempo while you learn a piece of music. It is a tool to help you keep pace and to push yourself toward your goals.

Now, I am no musician. No, not at all. But I do know how to read music and play the piano. So when I moved to a tiny church of 40 members who sings hymns to a boom-box, that little something told me I could use my back-burner "talent".

I acquired the hymn book and looked through until I found the Easter hymns. I had my goal, I would debut my meager effort on Easter, so I started practicing. Oh boy... my fingers clumsily plunked through the notes, getting no where let me tell you.

Until I remembered the trusty metronome (or metronome app!). I set the tempo at a snail's pace and familiarized myself with the melody, until I had a general handle on it all.

About two and a half years ago, I gave birth to my second little boy, 18 months after my first. I still knew well how to care for a new-born and all went smoothly there. It was the little 18 month old that brought my challenge. I knew nothing about helping such a small child adjust to a new sibling, and knew nothing about mothering multiple children period. I struggled and fumbled. But I kept our pace slow and eventually gained a handle on things.

As I worked toward my Easter goal, I knew I needed to push the tempo up a little. My fingers struggled to keep up, failing from time to time, but always trying to produce some semblance of a beautiful melody. And eventually, they would. Then I always hit a wall. I was no longer progressing, my fingers comfortable at the current speed, sometimes even faltering because of the lack of a challenge. I was too comfortable at that slow speed. I was more easily distracted and my mind wandered to other things.

Over the past 2 months, I began to again struggle with our little family. My two year old has been slow to talk, causing frustrated communications, and my nearly four year old became grumpy, defiant and quick to throw tantrums. He struggled to listen and to find reason to be a positive person toward others. At the same time, expanding our family has been on my mind. On the good days, I feel ready to welcome another into our family. On the bad days, I wonder if I should ever have more babies. When dealing with my children I frequently found myself exhausted, exasperated and thinking about other things I could be doing.

So what do I do when I hit the wall? What do I need when I stop progressing; stuck and not in a good place? I tried again and again to concentrate and do my best, but I just kept stumbling.

As my fingers became more and more useless, I remembered my goals and the metronome. I used that metronome to push the tempo again and again. My fingers initially faltered, then something amazing happened. My resolve returned, my focus sharpened and my view expanded until I smoothly produced the melody up to speed. I pushed the tempo again and again, until finally, angelic hymns floated almost perfectly up to heaven.

As I wondered in awe at my amazing experience with the metronome, I then realized something. I realized that children have little metronome hearts. They push my tempo and force me to keep pace. They sharpen my focus, return my resolve to all things truly important and expand my view heavenward. As my children grow, their hearts grow, become more efficient and slow, so I need to let their little hearts push me as much as they can. And right now. Suddenly, my doubts about my abilities as a mother faded and I felt comfort and peace. And now I know that someday, I don't know when, our family just may need another little metronome heart with a quicker beat to push us toward our goals. That one day our family may be as a symphony floating almost perfectly up to heaven.

More Meg here.


Anonymous said...

I love this! Beautifully expressed. And yes, with each child, you are nudged to go a little faster, and you adjust. Great metaphor.

Megan said...

This was a beautiful comparison. And I definitely understand how you felt "recently" about wanting to add a third child but also thinking that you should never have anymore children. I appreciate your thoughts. It's interesting to think about children in these terms.

Lesley said...

Megan! It's you! I love this blog and I was thrilled to see your face in this post!

What lovely, incredibly insightful writing. Thanks for sharing! I hope to see you on Bloom again!

Christina said...

I loved this! What a beautiful insight. I need to recognize these moments that push me to do more in my own motherhood and appreciate them as such!

Maile said...

I love this analogy! I've been thinking thoughts recently that parallel your ideas - how my "fingers" were so slow when I had one child and hardly had anything to do but I found it such a hard adjustment to being a mom. And now I'm pregnant with #4, homeschooling, etc. etc. and yes, my life is busy, but it's also wonderful and I'm capable of doing so much more now. Sometimes I regret all the time I wasted figuring out how to be a mom, but I guess the reality is that I had to go through those times to get to where I am now and can enjoy it all so much.

The redhead said...

I can relate to your feelings on having more children. I have two boys and the time is quickly approaching when having a third makes logical sense. But some days I can't even comprehend how I would handle it.

But then again, I used to wonder how people even had one or two. And now that's my life and I'm still standing.

Lacey said...

Wow! I so needed this! I, too, have 2 kids age 2 and 4 and I have wondered, on many occasions, how in the world will we ever be ready to welcome the third I feel we're supposed to have. Thank you for sharing this!

Danielle said...

So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this.