AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: My life's work DATE: 2/25/2008 01:36:00 PM ----- BODY:
In a few weeks, I'll have to start working again. Students will start coming back for their lessons. I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to it.

Really, as far as a work scenario goes, I've got it good. Students come to my house for their lessons. I've been teaching in the area long enough that I don't have to take students who don't do their work. I have the luxury of auditioning them and laying down some strict guidelines for remaining in my studio.

I love my kids (and Bach too!!!). Always have. Most of them have been with me for at least 5 years, some up to 10 years. They are not just my piano students, they are important people in my life. That is what drives me to continue. That and a 6'4" Mason & Hamlin sitting in my studio that I'm not finished paying for yet. Or for a few more years.

Today, I got an email from one of them, an adult student, asking if I was going to be ready to start teaching again next week. That will have given me 5 weeks off. I expressly told her before the baby arrived that I was taking at least 6 weeks. As of today, I'm thinking of taking 7 because of all the issues that we've been working through.

The email got under my skin, and I realized that for the first time, there is somebody that I want to put before my students. There is somebody who means more to me than anyone else ever will, and I want for people to realize that.

While I love teaching, and I love my students - Bird will always come first. I can do both; be a mommy and still teach. Plenty of women work longer hours than I do and are still mommies too.
But if I can't give him 6 or 7 work free weeks at the beginning of his life? That would be ridiculous.

Really though? I have my work. My heart's work. He's laying nestled on my left breast, sleeping peacefully on his boppy.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Perugini DATE:Monday, February 25, 2008 at 5:42:00 PM EST I understand! I gave lessons all the way up to 1 month before I had my first baby. I am now a stay-at-home mom to 3 little ones, and haven't gone back to giving lessons.

I had the same situation - students came to me for years, a studio in my home, and a reputation that allowed me to never search for students.

It'll be hard at first to go back, but I know you'll balance things. And if a student can't understand the scope of what bringing a new baby into your life means, then they need to reassess. Your students will have to share you. And that is OK.

xoxo ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Steph DATE:Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7:24:00 PM EST Im sorry that student wasnt more patient. Bird comes first. Im glad you have a job where the students come to you! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stella DATE:Monday, February 25, 2008 at 7:58:00 PM EST That's such a beautiful image to have of your son sleeping so peacefully. I so miss those days when my little ones were littler.
Going back to work is hard and I agree that if you can take the extra time you should and you deserve that time, as does bird! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous pastormargaret DATE:Monday, February 25, 2008 at 10:06:00 PM EST Do you mean JS Bach? or the Bach you teach? Just wondered if you were keeping something from me.
Mom ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Monday, February 25, 2008 at 10:52:00 PM EST he's a lucky boy, christopher, to have a mama who loves him so well. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:Monday, February 25, 2008 at 10:56:00 PM EST Hello, Pastor Margaret. This is Bach, the student.*waves* It was so nice seeing you and Tom when I came over to meet your new and very adorable grandson when he was five days old.

I can imagine that your wonderful daughter is having conflicting feelings about returning to teaching, what with such a total life change in the past month. But she will find her way, as you well know. She's good at doing that.

I'm very happy to go with the flow and enjoy the benefits of her musical wisdom as it best suits her new life. Would that all her students could be in such a position. I'm fortunate to have been her student for ten years as of June, 2008.

Thank you for raising such a lovely daughter. You and Tom did a terrific job!

Bach ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jenn DATE:Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 1:49:00 AM EST Take as much time as you need I say! Your students that really "get" you will totally understand! This time with Bird is so precious and I don't blame you for wanting more time with him! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 7:29:00 AM EST It has to be a nice feeling that your student loves being taught by you so much that he/she has no patience! I'm sure if you just remind them that you need some time, it would be understood.

But I totally see where it would irk you. It would be the "Don't you people listen to me!!??" situation.

Bird will always come first. And rightly so. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous ~JJ! DATE:Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 12:13:00 PM EST Oh man I get that.

You will start work again when you are ready.

I'm sure it's because you are such a wonderful, talented and loving teacher that your students want you back right away.

hugs. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lisa DATE:Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 5:50:00 PM EST On the upside, it sounds like that student was really missing your instruction. Sounds like you are an amazing teacher!

As for your little guy... Awww. WHat a wonderful mental pic you've created for us all. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Daily Verses DATE:Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 8:14:00 PM EST You're such a good mommy. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous toddlerplanet DATE:Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 9:31:00 PM EST Take the time you need, if you're lucky enough to be able to ... they are only this little once. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kathy's Surprise Party DATE:Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 6:41:00 PM EST Work is hard. It is really hard. It kicks my butt some days, and I miss Keaton. But, it gets better - kindof. ----- --------