It's Trash Tuesday again, folks.
And for the past week, I've been wracking my brain to figure out ways to simplify my little family's somewhat harried existence. My girlies and I are working towards the idea of "stream-lining" our routines this year.
This will mean making an effort to cut out the stuff that tends to drive us crazy and gets us nowhere.
(Except the laundry, unfortunately. Apparently, the general consensus is that we need to keep doing that. Same goes for making supper every. damn. night. **Sigh.**)
Child Number One is undoubtedly the busiest of us all, and we've been extremely careful to choose her high school courses, as well as her music activities, with extreme consideration. Thankfully, she is now at the point in her education where the pre-requisites are behind her, and she can pick her courses based upon what she enjoys, and what she intends to pursue in university.
There has been some talk about her dropping out of her secondary school's choir.
Now, Child Number One is "Musical-with-a-capital-M", as some of you may remember. She has never had a burning desire to sing-- the flute has become her voice, instead. But, as many good music teachers have encouraged her, she has felt the need to TRY to sing, to help her perfect her ear training, as well as her sight reading.
Besides, singing in a group-- as opposed to having to "face the music" and sing on your OWN-- is fun.
It's good for the soul to combine your voice with others', and marvel at the beautiful sounds that can be created. It's good to learn the music "by heart": that way, it stays there forever.
Number One had a super year singing at school last year, and made some wonderful new friends outside of the instrumental music program. She also sang, without pressure and with joyous abandon, at the National Music Camp for several years, as a part of her orchestral training.
This year, a new music department head was announced at the school. And this department head, although absolutely marvelous at his job, announced that he would like the members of the choir to do more solo work this year. Starting with a recorded vocal audition.
Well, Child Number One's no stranger to auditions. She rises to meet the challenge of all kinds of performing situations, and succeeds.
But this one made her hesitate. It made her nervous. She can MORE than carry a tune. But, singing is not what she would call her forte.
She began to think... that if she didn't continue with choir, she would not only reduce her own personal stress, but she would also lessen my weekly driving load... thus stream-lining the schedule, as we had planned.
Well, I appreciated the offer. And I understood her feelings. Hell, I wouldn't have wanted to sing on my own, either-- and I sang in a number of church choirs for a number of my younger years.
I was sure the teacher would understand. I encouraged her to go and see him, and explain her reservations.
In the end, he was sympathetic and understanding, and of course would have her in choir, even if she didn't feel comfortable singing alone. They would work it out.
So, then there was just the issue of stream-lining the schedule to consider.
We decided to sleep on it.
And after we had risen and dressed to leave the house in the wee hours this morning, I met my eldest child in the kitchen for a mini-pow-wow.
Would she stay, or would she go?
In the end, the decision was simpler than either of us would have imagined:
(Insert a loooooong moment of thoughtful silence.)
Mother: Are you singing Rutter this year?
Child Number One: Yes.
Mother: Here's your lunch. Get in the car.
Sing your heart out, kiddo.