Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

31 days dare

We moved to this area when Isaac was 2 1/2. Since the older three children had already started to excel on the violin, it was important to us that we find a teacher who would continue the excellent instruction they had begun. We were given a list of the Pennsylvania certified Suzuki teachers and told "good luck." Not knowing a whole lot about the area, and how far various places were, I just started calling. Our former teacher had given us some questions to ask potential teachers including, "Do you continue to take classes in Suzuki instruction?" As I asked one potential teacher this question, she started to laugh, and said, "I teach those classes!" Okay, then.

She asked that the kids audition for her, so we packed up the crew of four (oh, those were the days, we had it so easy then) and drove to her beautiful home situated on the banks of the Susquehanna River. After listening to each of the older children, she agreed that she would take them on as her students. Then she pointed to Isaac and said, "But I'm really interested in that one. I start a new 3-year old class every other year and will be starting one this fall. I like to have at least three children in the group and need one more." Well, we had never started any of the children that young before and I wasn't really interested in doing so at this time. We discussed it a little more and she finally spoke the clincher: "I'll only charge you half price." Deal! Even better was that she taught with her partner so rather than sitting at her house for 2+ hours while she taught 4 children, we only had to be there for an hour.

Suzuki students usually start on a box violin; a pseudo instrument made from a macaroni and cheese box with a paint stirrer neck. The bow is made from a dowel rod and block of wood. It makes sense to practice on something not as breakable as a real instrument. When Isaac was finally ready for his first real instrument, being younger than the other children when they began, we needed to get a smaller instrument. So we searched ebay (like always) and won the bid for a 1/10 size violin. When it arrived in the mail Isaac proudly took it out of its case, moved the bow across the strings, looked down at the instrument and said, "It not workin'."

It not workin'. That phrase has become a common one in our house, used by one and all. Just last night I was talking to John about a frustrating situation with a particular child and said, "It not workin'."

So I've been thinkin', a dangerous pastime, I know (as they say in Beauty and the Beast). And if it not workin', then that means something probably needs to change. And the one to change probably needs to be me.

As I was thinking, I came across a list of 31 Days to Loving Your Husband Better, or something like that. It sounded like a good idea, and one that I promise I'll come back to. But in the meantime, I realized that maybe I could try the 31 Days to Loving This Child Better. Sort of a purposeful 31 days of prayer meets the Love Dare, but for a child, not my husband. Make sense? I think so. I'm working on my list and will post as I figure it out and try it out.

Maybe I'm the only one who sometimes struggles to love a child like I should. If so, then I'm writing this so you can hold me accountable. Or maybe everyone else has already thought of this and I'm just a little slow. But if I'm not the only one, then maybe my 31 Days challenge can help someone else, too.

Stay tuned.

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