Which are you?
I've heard the analogy that commitment vs. involvement in life is like ham and eggs at breakfast. The chicken was involved in bringing you the final product. The pig...100% committed.
Why ham, eggs and the picture of my oldest holding up an incredibly noisy Christmas present that only a grandparent would give?
Parental commitment, cave friends. Parental commitment.
You see, long before some well-meaning relative presented the "Sing-A-Song" cassette recorder, I dreamed of my children being musical. And smart, and athletic and blah, blah, blah. You get me.
Anyway, while I was very excited and involved in getting my boys to listen to and enjoy music, being committed to them becoming musicians was another story.
As much as I love music...well, music tends to make noise. Shocking revelation, I know. But, with three boys coming at me in under five years time, I already had a lot of noise going on in my cave. Ironically, I'm actually sort of a musician...old piano teacher and everything. But, I could only take so much noise coming from multiple sources at one time.
I love to talk and sing, but when I listen to music of my choosing, words are rarely involved. Maybe it's because the voices in my head never shut-off, but I pretty much only have background stuff coming through the music devices around me. When my boys were small, I had a Debussy cassette in the minivan, and I'm pretty sure my youngest could hum all of "Clair de Lune" at age two. Now 18, he was watching a current, very popular, sci-fi TV series a couple of nights ago. When a guitar began to play a haunting piece as the credits rolled, the boy - just in from football conditioning - said, "Hey! Cool arrangement of 'Clair de Lune'!"
As the boys lived much of their childhood in Seattle, a great city for some good jazz, I piped a local "smooth jazz" station through our intercom system, pretty much 24/7. One of my sons now says that he nearly convulses whenever he hears the genre, so I apparently over-did it.
These are times I thanked God for the quiet joy a plastic tub of Beenie Babies could bring.
Please don't get me wrong, I exposed them to music. I even had moments in our day (non-piano teaching days) where I would sit at the piano and the three would march around singing everything from "Little White Duck" to "Old Blue." I even taught them to vocally harmonize using the "Mail Time" song from "Blue's Clues."
The commitment did show up. It just took a while. We eventually embraced the 6:15 AM band practice carpool and staggering saxophone prices. We fashioned patient parenting "hats" when the first guitar seemed to only play one song...in one key...for one year. We smiled (but, didn't laugh) when we were presented with the first song written.
I do think I laughed when the boys announced that they were forming the band "3-2-1." They were about 6-8-10 when this transpired, and if you saw the CD cover they designed (I still have it in the cedar chest) and saw the titles of the potential songs for their album...you wouldn't be judging me for laughing. Hilarious.
I'm just zooming in on music. There are plenty of other things we have to either get eggy or hammy about. Sports, school, even relationships. Especially relationships. If you don't bring the meat to that table, you'll have egg on your face. (Couldn't resist!)
What about spiritually? A lot of us think that if we are "involved" - show our kids what going to church and taking our turn teaching Sunday School looks like - well, they'll get it. Be moral, be ethical...don't worry, they'll pick it up. Better gear up for a bit more than that, or things may get a bit scrambled.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It is not for the casually involved. It is for the passionately committed.
Bring on the bacon.