The unfortunate thing about motherhood is that it doesn't come with a biweekly paycheck. We don't get the reassurance of money in our bank account to validate our worth as employees. More often than not, my little tyrant-bosses reward me with sticky fingers, sleepless nights, messes of epic proportions, sassy backtalk and eye rolls, open-mouthed kisses, tight hugs around the neck and an occasional "I love you, Mommy."
But yesterday, I was fortunate to have one of those rare parenting paydays that's even more valuable than money in the bank.
I knew it was going to be a crazy weekend. Piano festival for Ashlynn on Friday night and Saturday morning. Violin Federation for Abby on Saturday afternoon. Violin Federation judging for me mid-morning, and my husband flying out in the cold and dark of Saturday morning before any of the rest of us were thinking about waking up.
But against all odds, it worked.
The best part? Abby got a superior and rave reviews at Federation, then Ashlynn got eight out of eight superiors at piano festival, and was ranked first in three categories. She even got invited to perform her duet with her friend Katelyn in the honor's recital Saturday night. She was so excited she was, quite literally, bouncing off the walls.
Doing the music thing with my kids isn't always easy. In fact, it's rarely easy. I've had lots of times where I've questioned my sanity, questioned whether or not it was worth it. Saturday made up for it, and it wasn't just about the good ratings at the competitions. The best part was watching how thrilled my girls were to be able to perform their best and see their hard work pay off. I had a smile on my face all afternoon seeing my girls beam with pride at what they were able to accomplish.
So while a weekly paycheck wouldn't be all bad, it's days like this that make the hours of practicing, the tears, the money spent, and the endless drives to and from lessons worth it for me as a parent. It's a lot of work, expense, frustration, and time for everyone involved, but seeing their smiles of satisfaction and joy at accomplishing something so worthwhile reimburses me tenfold.