When Julia decided to refuse bottles – even bottles of breastmilk – at first, it was distressing to me. How was I going to live my life like a normal human being without ever being able to be away from my child for more than three hours? We tried everything – three or four different kinds of bottles, various nipples, warm milk, cold milk, Daddy giving it to her, in the chair, in the carseat, sleepy, awake…all with very limited success. There was crying, there was choking, there was spit-up everywhere, and in general, just complete protest against the fact that this was NOT WHAT I’M USED TO, MOM!!!
This photo documents the one occasion when she took two whole ounces without throwing a fit.
I know that we could have pressed the issue and kept offering the bottle, but to make a long story short, it finally dawned on me that these few months when Julia would be exclusively nursing are such a tiny little blip in the big scheme of things. Everybody keeps saying, “Enjoy your baby! This time goes by so quickly!” And they’re right. These months are precious. If I can’t slow down my life enough to feed my child every three hours during the daytime, I have some idolatry issues to address in my life.
Sooooooo, this has meant that Julia often keeps me company during lessons, rehearsals, and gigs these days! I’ve learned how to teach piano, voice, and even guitar with her in the moby wrap (which I absolutely love,) and she is usually so entranced by the music that she stays pretty quiet. My private students are very patient with her, which is a blessing. Julia also comes along to church choir practice on Sunday mornings, and even attended a two-hour rehearsal for a performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony this week. (She spent most of the rehearsal quietly in the moby, with her little cheek resting on my chest and her eyes wide open, staring with great interest at the other singers in the alto section.) It gets tricky when we have long, three- or four-hour church choir rehearsals on Saturday mornings, when I have to be gone from home for longer than Julia can make it between feedings, and she can’t come along. Fortunately, the Lord gave me the best husband in the entire world. He delivers her to me during the break in the rehearsal, I’m able to feed her there at church, and then he takes her home again!
Today I was accompanying a former student for a college audition. Since the school was an hour away, I knew I couldn’t leave home, drive up there, warm up, play the audition, and make it home by the time Julia had to eat again, so, into the carseat she goes! My student’s mom was going to be on campus that day, and was able to watch her during the actual audition. Julia had a great time hanging out on the big college campus, as you can see. She decided to wear her most musical outfit so that she would fit in as much as possible with all those cool fine arts majors.
After a great audition, my former student was accepted into the school as a music education major. I am so proud! As I’ve blogged about previously, I try not to evaluate my success as a teacher based on how many of my students become professional musicians. But it still makes me burst with excitement when one of them grows to love music so much that he or she decides to make a career of it! I’ve had a few former students major or minor in music, but this would be my first to actually strive to become an educator. Julia is proud of her, too!