I used to cry at my piano lessons. As a kid, playing the piano came naturally. I loved it, and I was praised by others for playing well. I had an excellent teacher, but when he pushed grade school me to get better, it quickly became overwhelming and foreign.
Piano lesson days made me anxious. Mom would pick me up after school at 2:30pm and drive five minutes across the bridge to my teacher’s house. Some days I could handle the lessons, but other days it was too stressful.
Mom suggested we move my lessons back a little bit. Instead of going straight over to his house, we would stop at Hardee’s, get a “Big Cookie”–it was a big, awesome, soft chocolate cookie, and eat it in the car. We’d talk about the day and relax for a minute before jumping in to the lessons. I remember that helping a lot.
When I’m faced with my kids really getting worked up about something they are dreading–just last night it was removing what we thought was a tick from our five year old, I catch myself saying, “Hey, I know you don’t like this, but let’s just get it over with!” It seems logical, right?
Then I remember those piano lessons and how much it helped when Mom suggested we take a break before jumping into something hard. It was a smart move and helps me be more sensitive to my kids and offer more options.
I also really like cookies. That stuck with me, too. Do they still make Big Cookies? I would like one now.