To say that I am the opposite of a musical person is a gross understatement. My grandfather bought us a piano when I was very young, maybe even before I was born. He wanted his granddaughters to play the piano. My oldest sister took lessons for twelve years, the next took lessons for eight, I didn’t even make it a year. At recital time the piano teacher suggested (strongly) that my talents evidently lay elsewhere.
I had a similar experience with sewing. I vividly remember spending lots of time with my mom and sisters at Cloth World. I also remember the first time I got a store bought dress. My mother made all our clothes, she even made swim suits and Barbie clothes. She made my and Sydney’s wedding dresses. We shopped for my wedding dress, but when I couldn’t find what I wanted and described to my mom, she said, “I could make that.” And she did. My mother and both my sisters each made their own maternity clothes with the same sewing machine, I was never offered the machine (nor the piano for that matter), I had also failed sewing lessons.
I’m not sure how old I was, but I remember the summer day when mom decided she’d teach me to sew. We went to Cloth World. I picked out a pattern. I picked out the fabric. It was a cute white eyelet, simple, sleeveless top. I was super excited. I also remember mom telling me in frustration, “Go, I’ll make you whatever you want.” And she did, while I disappeared outside. My kids knew if they needed mending or awesome Halloween costumes, Grandma Nina could make miracles happen. She did draw the line at mending underwear that Paxton put in the mending pile once, she was unfazed by the fact he loved those underwear! Me and Paxton are good at finding people’s limits.
Sports came easily to our oldest son. If he lacked talent, he was always the biggest on the team and seemed to have boundless energy. He just loved being on a team. Our youngest could not have been more opposite. He grew up watching his brother play sports and when it came time for him to play, he was perfectly content on the sidelines. The last season he played soccer, I remember him saying to me in the car after a game, “How many more years are you going to make me do this?” Turns out, that was a good question and he never played again.
My oldest son has always wanted to be in law enforcement. My sister always wanted to be a school teacher. The rest of us struggle. I’m 58 years old and still don’t really know what I want to do when I grow up. I’m beginning to think I may never know.
It may be obvious what we’re not good at but knowing where we excel can be another story. It’s funny as I sit here typing and reflecting, I can remember with such vivid detail stories and circumstances of my failures, but when I stop and think of victories they elude me. I know I’m not a complete failure, but it’s the failures that stick with me. And I don’t think that’s the worst thing ever. It keeps me humble. It keeps me seeking. It keeps me learning. So I live as though I still have so much to learn and the wisdom of others rushes to the front of my mind far faster than my own.