Monday, July 23, 2012

Risking Our Hearts

We had an eventful weekend, full of wonderful moments and sad endings.  Sounds like a metaphor for life doesn't? The little people got their first musical instruments and the ear torturing has begun.  Twin A chose the saxophone and B the oboe.  If you enjoy the melodious sounds of waterfowl and cats being tortured then the dogs want to trade homes with you!  Of course that would deprive us of the crying dog accompaniment in our orchestra.  The music store that rented the instruments from had a free clinic and concert with an amazing musician by the name of Brian "Breeze" Cayolle.  This gentleman from New Orleans plays the sax, clarinet, flute and piccolo.  After the clinic he performed with a band of three others and it was like being transported to New Orleans, one of my favorite places in the world!  The music had me dancing in my seat and Twin A came straight home and started practicing his sax.  Mission accomplished.  I want to expose the boys to what music can be this year.  Not just the computer generated or cleaned up vocals but really talented people who spend years perfecting their instruments  and technique.  People who say everything begins with practice, dedication, determination.  There are no shortcuts in learning an instrument and my boys need to learn that this carries over into life.  The concert made my husband and I remember traveling to New Orleans and listening to concerts before children.  Of course the sour attitude of the the eldest and his proclivity for picking fights with Twin A brought us back to reality before we even got out of the parking lot.  Kids....

Sunday started off on the wrong foot with an odd dream that brought me to full alert at 3:00 am.  That combined with a migraine set the tone for the day.  After attending mass we went to a local park for a mini concert and a Food Truck Rodeo.  It was a lovely break in what is normally one of our busiest days of the week.  Sunday is no rest day at our house unfortunately.  The concert got rained out so off to home we headed.  Darling husband skipped his last soccer game so he could take the short ones to their scout meeting thereby allowing me to stay home and sleep off the migraine.  I love my husband.  While he and the twins were shooting the homemade 2 liter bottle rockets at the scout competition my only job was to take care of Wings, a baby bird we found three days ago.  He had been in really bad shape when we found him and I did not expect him to last 24 hours.  But yesterday we saw a huge difference and Twin B, who discovered the bird, got to name him.  Wings looked like he?she? would become at least a temporary member of the family.  And then while the boys were away the bird died.  A horrible jerking, spasming death.  And so I sat.  Looking at the tiny little body and dreading my children's homecoming.  The eldest was upstairs and I told him first and that was awful.  As expected from a huge animal lover he took it very hard.  Then the boys came home and I broke the news to them.  They cried most of the evening. 

Sometimes being a parent stinks.  Last night was one of those times.  I love the giant hearts of my children.  They have such good intentions and they tried so hard to do everything asked in the care of this bird.  We had long discussions about why they could not hold it, and love on it even though we all wanted to so badly.  We had talked about not imprinting on the baby and preparing it to be released back into the wild when the time was right.  We had discussed the difference between what we wanted and what was the best for a wild bird.  And they had obeyed, putting the needs of Wings before their own.  And then the bird died.  Nothing we did changed the ending that was in sight when we found Wings.  And that is the essence of life.  We risk our hearts and take chances but sometimes it does not end well.  The lesson I want the boys to learn from this is that the risk of heartbreak is always there but we need to take those chances anyway.  For three days this bird was sheltered, fed and loved.  Three days it would not have had if B hadn't found it baking on that sidewalk.  For three days we made a difference.  And in life we need to take risks so that we can make a difference.  Each time we put our heart into a new endeavor we risk loss, but we also risk gaining love, happiness and blessings. 

Just as music requires practice, determination and dedication so does risking our hearts.  We have to practice opening them to the world and all of the potential disappointments so that our capacity for love can grow.  We have to be determined to make a change, however small, in the world around us.  And we have to dedicate ourselves to doing things for others even if it is not always convenient.  For it is through practice, dedication and determination that we hear that joyful music that is life itself.  And the orchestra of life is glorious indeed.

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