Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Playing bagpipes is almost the same commitment as the soccer or hockey players. Weekends away, numerous practices during the week and hourly practices during the day. We have been on this journey for almost 10 years with our son. We have traveled to Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas and soon Scotland. How did it all begin? I blame Disney, with a smile!
We took a trip to Disney one year when our son was 7 and he saw the band Off Kilter playing in Canada in Epcot. He said, “Mama, I want to play that.” After questions of drums, guitar, and keyboard, we understood he wanted to play bagpipes. Going back to our home town I began calling music stores only to have them laugh at me when I asked if they had someone that would teach bagpipes. I looked online, and found that the only instructors I could locate were in the inner city, of which I was not driving into. The last one I found was in the country 50 minutes away, where we used to live. What are the odds??? Well, in that inquiry call, the gent who teaches said he would not instruct anyone younger than 11 as their fingers were not long enough to reach the chanter holes. So, with that, I stopped calling and waiting for him to stop asking.
The following year we once again returned to Disney on a family trip with parents and our son again turned around and yelled our way that he “really wanted to play that”. Well, what could we do? We waited until the set was over and we spoke with the piper Jamie. He asked where we lived and low and behold he had a name to call. That is where our journey began.
Why second? Well, this past weekend our 17 year old son competed against some of the professional pipers in our area and he beat them all. He took second, with first place being one of his band mates from the band he just spent two years competing with. He did it! Almost 10 years of playing and he is at a level that he can compete against the professionals. You are likely wondering why I see it as a blessing. Well, let me explain.
About 3 months ago, when the competition season for Highland games was starting up, I commented to someone that “I know all our travels are worth it now, yet someday it will be even more so when our son can tell reporters that he thanks God for the ability to play, and his parents for the sacrifices they made to get him to lessons, paying for the lessons and the weekends spent going all over the midwest.” On Saturday, I was reminded of that comment and I realized that was purely irresponsible on my part. I was also hit with the realization that the thankful heart of my son will not come through media, or words, yet through the hug he gave me on Saturday. After he won second, he put his pipes away, hung out a little bit with his friends and then he sought me out. The moment I saw him he smiled at me and walked quickly toward me with his arms wide open and gave me the biggest hug. He didn’t let go until he shared with me his thoughts on his win and how nervous he was in disbelief. His excitement at that moment and the fact that he shared it with me meant more than any public recognition. As most moms of teenage boys know, hugs are far and few between. This hug was the kind you give someone you haven’t seen in years. The kind where you don’t let go until the other person starts to, and let me just say, he didn’t let go quickly. It was a wonderful moment I live over in my mind with praises to God that my sweet little boy has grown into a young man who is grateful, respectful, and humble.
As a mom who stays at home I have to admit there are days that I wonder if my efforts and prayers will produce moral, upstanding children who go out into the world with God fearing God loving hearts. I mean, there is no paycheck, and the days are long. I have always said that I will know what kind of job I did when the children God gave me to raise are 18 and I see who they become and what they do with their lives. That will be the paycheck. Well folks, I have to say, I have now entered into that phase of my life with my son and I praise God that He has equipped me to raise such a fine young man.
Why second is a blessing? Because that second place meant more than first. It produced a response from my son that brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart. It was a response that humbled my heart and once again helped me to see that it’s in the small blessings of life that mean more than all the riches of the world. I thank God for that realization and for God’s children that He chose for my husband and myself to raise. That is why second!