It’s a typical Tuesday morning. I was sitting at the office, quietly working when my daughter called me from school.
Surprised, thinking something is wrong, I ran to answer the phone.
“What’s wrong? Is something wrong?”, I said.
C responded: “No mama, I just need you to call Tita Amor and tell her I need to have piano lessons this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon.”
Amor is her piano teacher (who is excellent at what she does, by the way). Puzzled, I asked her why.
She told me “Because I volunteered to play the mass song ‘Sapagka’t ang Diyos ay Diyos ng Pag-ibig’ for school on THURSDAY.”
I blinked. “Thursday? Next Thursday?”
“No,” she replied, “THIS THURSDAY.”
I was screaming in my head “WHAAAT?! What did you do!?!?!? What do you think you’re doing?! You only took up piano this April!!!!”
Outside, all I said was “Why?”
She told me: “They need someone to play and I told them I would do it.”
I said “You do know that you don’t have much time to learn it.”
She replied “I have two days… that’s why you need to schedule me a class today.”
I put down the phone and started complaining and muttering aloud what my over-confident daughter did… much to my father-in-law and mother-in-law’s amusement.
I scheduled her class for 530 PM today since it’s at such short notice. Looks like we’ll have to finish reviewing her lessons for quizzes tomorrow by then so she can make it to class.
Why didn’t I act on my initial impulse? Why didn’t I refuse to help her try to learn the song in two days even though I know it’s too difficult and near impossible?
Because I didn’t want to punish her for volunteering. Most kids need to be pushed to do extra-curricular activities… she doesn’t. And I think that’s a good thing.
Because I didn’t want her to feel she can’t do something. She has to figure out her limitations on her own. She decided to give it a try so I decided I’m not going to stand in her way. I’m not going to be the one to tell her what she can or can not accomplish.
If she fails and embarrasses herself in class then so be it. I’ll just comfort her if that happens. It’ll be a hard lesson in learning her own limitations. What if she succeeds though? I don’t want to pre-empt the ending of this little story just because I implanted in her brain she can’t do it.
I really hope I’m not setting her up for failure as that’s not my intention. I just told the teacher to tell her the truth if she can’t learn it on time and we’ll think of a Plan B together if need be.