When I was in college I was forced to take a music class. While music completely inspires me I can't carry a tune and I can't play an instrument even though I spent a good portion of my youth in band class. When my teacher announced we would be learning the ukulele and that our final exam would be actually playing the ukulele I was instantly petrified searching for the nearest exit. I love to be challenged but this is one of those things I tried and tried and could never conquer. I was discouraged before even trying, reluctantly I checked out my instrument and began practicing. I of course fumbled but I also felt a surprising thrill. As the semester went on I sort of fell in love. I enjoyed the challenge. A challenge which a year before would have had me making excuses to avoid. I was proud of myself when I did something right. I was giddy. Damon saw me practicing and could feel my excitement. The time had come for my final exam and I was outrageously nervous. Somehow against all odds I passed. There were hiccups of course but I actually passed. Sadly with passing the course I had to turn in my instrument. I went home sad. I wasn't' ready to let go of that feeling. I had beaten my own doubts about myself. It was a high. A confidence I hadn't felt in a very long time.
That Christmas Damon gave me a ukulele. Though I am not a professional ukulele player and I don't practice often. Every now and then I take it out and give myself a boost. It's amazing how my doubt was replaced with a very pure joy. Every so often my children ask to play my ukulele and watching them is the perfect view of how what we do as parents is mirrored in our children. They are so careful and gentle and treat it like such a privilege. Had I given up like I wanted to, they wouldn't feel that rush of getting to play this foreign instrument. I wouldn't get to teach them how to play the ukulele. It's a little thing that to me is oh so big.