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.