“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have” – Stephen Hawking
I had an incident with my eldest son on Friday. Again. The school called to ask me to pick him up as they were at the end of their tether. So in the middle of my singing practice (grrrr!) I hopped into my car and picked him up. When we got home, we had a long talk about everything that had happened. I stayed calm and said something along the lines of “You know C, bashing your head through a brick wall leads to three things: a bad headache, a concussion and if you bash it incessantly and hard enough, death. Maybe you should try going around the wall if you want to make a point”.
It’s always ups and downs with an ADHD kid. But oddly enough, this month has been the first time that things have really been looking up. I’ve had very few incidents with him and he’s been cooperating quite well with all the “tasks” that I’ve given him – violin and French practice as well as half an hour of reading every day, not to mention all the day to day stuff he has to do. No tantrums, no screaming fests, all has gone well. So this incident at school kind of shocked me. But not that much. As I said, I’ve gotten used to the fact that there are always going to be ups and downs.
However, my husband took it quite badly. He was completely and utterly disappointed. They had apparently had a long talk the day before at the psychiatrist’s office where C promised that he would surprise his teachers with his good behaviour instead of the “expected” bad behaviour.
And that made me think about expectations. I’ve had many in my time, from Druyd being bigger than Lady Gaga to being able to sing an A6 to finding Mr. Perfect with a house in Bretagne and a degree in French poetry. But I’ve slowly learnt that it is better to have no expectations than have them “shattered” as my husband had. To ride on the cosmic wave and go with the flow. It is good to have goals and strive towards them, but with the knowledge that if they are not reached it is not the end of the world, that everything is just as it should be.
It is the same with my pupils. Every single one asks me “How long will it take me to learn to sing/knit?”. I usually answer: I can say from my own personal experience that it took me 2 years of daily practice to get to a good level of singing, for knitting it took me about the same, but each person is different. However, next time I will add the following: It will also depend a lot on your motivation, how much and how long you practice each day and what your expectations are. My suggestion is to practice hard and have no expectations. Who knows what could happen then…maybe even an A6…or higher…or lower…who knows…