I think I am a control freak.
My phone rang. It’s Noah.
“I just got to work and the lab is closed. I forgot it’s a holiday.”
My first words…”So I hope you’re studying!”
“Well…no,” he adds reluctantly. “I’m composing a song.” I could hear the guilt in his voice.
And I instantly know that my words flew out too quickly. The logical me knows he has enough time to study for his MCAT, but the mother in me is slightly stressed that there’s never enough time to study for an 8 hour exam.
“Should I be studying?”
The doubt about his choice has crept in and I am the cause. My worry has reflected onto him and I know full well that his way of coping with the daily stress of study after a full work day in the lab is to turn to what brings him joy, and in turn, inspiration to move forward. Music is his channel for release.
Why after all these years of parenting have I not got this down yet? And I am always telling my kids to THINK before they SPEAK…
I consider my words and intent. Why talk to him about finding joy, if Im just going to squash his? Is it that only my creative pursuits count?
I think back to the tensions that juggling my career and household of kids brought. What brought me joy? What allowed me to centre myself so that creativity could rush in?
For me it was writing,photography, scrap-booking, travel.
For my son it is music.
How creative can one be if he is creating in the confines of a timeline and due dates with exams looming over him and a mother who in trying to control his schedule is ever so eager to remind him to study. Like he doesn’t know this already…
I am aware that research indicates that stress is destructive to creativity, and focused attention to a creative pursuit counters that stress.
I call him back. I remind him to allow himself some time each week to to have fun and step away from the books. This is important and sometimes mom’s don’t always get it right. I also tell him that he is in control of his schedule and that it’s his choice how he uses his time.
The lesson to be had here is clearly mine.
Think first. Support whatever and however he decides to use his time. And believe.
He has finished his song and uploaded it to Facebook. I instantly log on and listen. He is so proud and I am too.
Perhaps someday soon he will be a singing doctor.
Have you ever tried to control something you know you shouldn’t? I’d love to hear about it below.