never underestimate the power of flowers

I’m in the middle of a long stretch of teaching, and it’s a lot of “young ones” in a row, sometimes two at a time, and there are people coming in and out of my house seemingly constantly and coats in the hallway preventing my family from walking through and Gavin has Ben’s piano book and they’re chasing each other in circles around my living room waiting for their lesson to start.

I’m thinking in the back of my mind it might be time for me to find a job that doesn’t involve so many people in my house every week and so many after-school hours, and maybe a little less babysitting; and am also very aware of the fact that I’m an hour and a half in and have three hours to go, when my first student of the day walks back in, carrying a bouquet of yellow tulips.

This kid is a cross between Dennis the Menace and the sweetest boy ever (as evidenced by the bouquet of tulips). He has to be 10″ taller than anyone in his grade, with this shock of straw-colored hair and a look on his face that says “I’m funny; I KNOW I’m funny.” We have had problems on and off with him not being very productive in his lessons  — some days I would hardly even be able to get him off the couch, or he would be quite determined to pretend not to have a CLUE what I was talking about so as to delay actually having to do something. He had been improving over the past several months, and then took February off because of conflicts with the ski team, so last week was his first lesson back, and it was not a good one. This week he came in and I had a plan. He gets 5 pokers chips this week (4 next, 3 the week after, etc.), and has to “pay” me one every time I need to remind him that he’s supposed to be doing something or wastes time. If he has one poker chip left at the end of his lesson he can have one of those silly bandz rings I give as prizes. OR he can try to save poker chips up and “buy” a better prize when he has 5 — these little rubber animals they call “Squishies,” which are all the rage.

(He starts to negotiate. It was pretty cute, actually, but had no impact.)

Anyway, he had a great lesson, decided he wanted the instant gratification prize, (big surprise there,) and off he went.

Until he came back with the flowers.

They’re lovely. They’re a breath of color in a dark, dreary day.

They were, apparently, all his idea, and his selection at the store, but his mother was kind enough to indulge him and bring him back here to deliver them.

I still wonder if I should find a job that doesn’t involve so many people coming in and out of my house every week and so many after-school hours, but I feel appreciated, and thought of, and that makes it feel a little less like despair.

2 Responses to “never underestimate the power of flowers”

  1. March 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Oh don’t give up! It’s just the winter blues. You are doing something so wonderful!

  2. March 12, 2011 at 1:36 am

    It’s the little things like that that lift you up, isn’t it?

    I admire you for being able to teach music to kids at all. What a lot of patience it must take. My own voice teacher teaches kids, too, and I always wonder at how she does it. I couldn’t. Good for you for doing it. It’s such a gift when you are an adult if you had a good teacher as a child. And of course the gift of being able to play an instrument — you are teaching them things that will only come to fruition many years down the line, and perhaps you will never see those results, but they will carry that with them forever.

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