Tuesday, July 19, 2005

If I Could Be...

Several months ago I stumbled across the blogs of some dear old friends from my highschool days in ETS and Schola. It's been really fun for me to "eavesdrop" on their lives now. So here they are: Melodee, Emily, Jean, Kate, and Becca.

A while ago they each posted their answers to a little "If I were..." game. My favorite answers were the ones to the questions they added: "If I could be a wife..." and "If I could be a mother..." Both Em's answers and Melodee's answers were really wonderful.

Here's the whole game, with my answers:

If I Were. . .

Here's the scoop on how to play: I pick 5 occupations out of the list below and post my answers. Then I tag 3 other people to post their answers on their blog. If I tag you, and you don't want to be a part of this, then that is okay. Just let me know and I'll tag someone else. Make sure you note who tagged you!

The "questions": If I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

My Answers:

If I could be a mom, I would try to build a home that was a haven. I'd want my home to be a comfortable, beautiful, bright, happy, encouraging, wonderful, and fun place to be.

If I could be a mom, I'd pray heartily for my kids. I'd pray for myself, too; for the daily patience and self-sacrifice that it takes to be a good mom. I think it's impossible to be a Godly wife and mother without being in constant prayer for your husband, for your kids, and finally for your own strength.

If I were a mom, I'd make my home and family my number one priority. I wouldn't be a "career woman," even though society and culture might look down on me for my choices. I'd stay home to raise my children, teaching them to love and serve the Lord. I'd prepare home-cooked meals for my family each day. I'd want my kids to have the aroma of homemade lasagna and French bread drifting up the stairs to their bedrooms, not the scent of frozen dinners being warmed each night.

If I were a mom, I'd have to learn to sleep a lot less. Even after the night-feedings end, moms have to go to bed after their children and get up before their children. I might have lesson plans to make, curriculums to study, books to read, plans to make, clothes to sew, meals to prepare, and of course, a husband to love, honor, and cherish.

I'd sing to my kids a lot. I don't have an amazing voice, but I'd try not to let that make me feel self-conscious. I remember as a kid standing between my parents in church singing hymns, gazing up at them and thinking "my parents have the most beautiful voices of anyone in the whole congregation!" Today I realize that they probably didn't, but that's a very vivid memory. So I'd sing to my kids. I'd wake my kids up by singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," or maybe that song my Dad always sang about Mockingbird Hill.

On Saturday mornings I'd make them blueberry pancakes in Mickey Mouse shapes. I'd break up squabbles and try to help my kids grow into "peacemakers." I'd tell them I loved them all the time. I'd learn to sew better and make dresses for my darling little girls, or fun costumes for my handsome sons. I'd learn to knit and make baby blankets, too. I'd make paper airplanes and great Lego creations with my sons. I'd pick my kids up and plop them on the kitchen counter and let them help with dinner. I'd put my daughters' hair in french braids sometimes. I'd brush my kids' teeth at night when they were little: "Open wide..." "Now, teeth together..."

I'd want my kids to have a big yard to play in. I'd send them outside to climb trees, play with pets, and play with each other. In the rain, I'd help them into their rubber boots, and maybe their Daddy would make them little wooden boats to sail in puddles. Then we'd sing sailing songs together while the boats bobbed about, and when they came back inside, I'd have hot cocoa waiting for them.

I'd want my children to be bursting with creativity. I'd want them to have a sense of adventure, and carry that into the grand adventure of life with them. I'd want them to have a sense of wonder and to never lose it as they grew older. I'd want them to have a sense of beauty - the beauty of music, the beauty of creation, the beauty of words, and most of all the beauty of our Lord.

We'd play games as a family and we'd always laugh a lot. I'd teach my kids that it doesn't matter who wins Monopoly as long as we all have a good time. I'd teach my kids stubborn love for one another, and that our family was designed and instituted by God; if anyone teased one of my kids, I'd want the others to jump right in and defend the persecuted one. Because it's one thing for siblings to tease each other, but when someone else is doing the teasing, I'd hope my children would always stick together and stick up for one another. I'd teach my kids to treat one another well; friends will come and go but family ought to be there forever.

We'd watch movies sometimes on Friday nights; good movies and great movies. We'd read books in the evenings as a family: the Swallows and Amazons books, the Chronicles of Narnia, and many more. I'd want my kids to consider the Bible fascinating, never dull (because it isn't dull, but it's too often approached in that manner). I'd want my kids to love reading at least as much as I always have.

If I could be a mom, I'd fill my childrens' lives with great music. I'd make sure they all took music lessons and learned to love and appreciate music.

As my kids got older, I'd have rules about how late they could be out, and I'd always know where they were and who they were with. When they did go out, even if it was just babysitting, I'd sit up waiting until they got home, and ask to hear all about it. I'd let my kids talk and talk, and I'd try to always be there to listen. I'd want to really know my kids and not miss out on their lives.

I'd teach my daughters the value of modesty. When we shopped for new clothes, I'd make them lift their arms up to make sure their shirts were long enough, and I'd make them bend over to make sure their backs were covered... even if they hated it and complained (like I used to!).

I'd tell my daughters they were beautiful and my sons they were handsome. More importantly, I'd try to instill confidence in them concerning their intelligence, talents, and character.

If I homeschooled my children, I'd make sure they put on nice clothes each day - no wearing pajamas all day just because we're at home! I'd do everything in my power to ensure that my children learned to love learning and be fascinated by the wealth of knowledge awaiting them. I'd make my kids memorize poetry, multiplication tables, and grammar rules. Sometimes when my kids were all quietly reading or working a set of math problems, I'd bake them fresh cookies as a treat. I'd let them lick the beater while we waited for them to bake. We'd have a spontaneous snack of cookies and milk, and then go back to reading and math with renewed energy.

I I could be a mom, I'd put my childrens' artwork and schoolwork up on our family refrigerator, and I'd fill our house with family photographs. I'd also fill our house with shelves and shelves of good books. I'd try to keep our house tidy as much as possible, and free of clutter. I'd teach my kids to be helpful around the house and I'd expect that of them.

If I could be a mom, I'd pray for the strength to never complain to my kids when things were rough. (I can't remember a time when my Mom has complained about things she's missed out on doing, things she's tired of correcting, or anything. Ever.) I'd try to be the best example I could all the time. I'd pray for grace because I can't be perfect. And I'd hopefully have a wonderful husband who would always be there for a little extra strength and energy when I was running low.

Finally, if I could be a Mom, I'd try to help my kids grow up well. Grow into themselves, grow as Christians, grow into further responsibility, grow into making wise choices, and grow into independence. I'd try to make the transition as gracefully as possible from mother-of-young-children to mother-of-grown-children.

If I could be a wife, I'd pray for my husband, I'd put his needs and desires before my own, and I'd fix him three meals a day. I might put on a little bit of makeup every night before my husband came home from work. I'd brush my hair and greet him with a smile and a hug and a kiss. I'd want him to be glad to come home to me each night. I'd try never to greet him with a cross word or a sour expression or a grumpy face. When he came home from work, I'd tell him to sit down and put his feet up and tell me all about his day while I finished dinner.

I'd never say "I told you so," or "Why haven't you..." or "Why can't you..." or other things of that sort.

If I could be a wife, I'd try to stay fit and healthy. Even though fitness should never be a number one priority, and especially not when family-things make up the top 100 priority items, I'd try to maintain a healthy level of fitness. I consider it an aspect of the things I would prioritize for my husband's sake. I'd try to take care of myself and not transform into a busy, harried, unkempt sort of mother. Of course, the most important beauty comes from within, and I'd pray for God to fill me up with Christ's love so I could just radiate that true beauty to my family.

I'd get dressed up from time to time - even if it was just to go on a date to McDonald's.

If I could be a wife, I'd be my husband's biggest fan and constant cheerleader and source of support. I'd encourage him in everything he undertook and try to help him be the best that he could be.

If I could be a musician, well, wait...I already am one! Anyway, if I could be a musician, I'd play with a good symphony orchestra; I'd get to spend every day surrounded by great musicians playing great music. I'd practice lots on my own too, and learn the Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Tchaikovsky concertos until I could play them with ease. I'd fill my home and my life with great music. I'd play chamber music, too; Mendelssohn quartets and piano trios, Beethoven quartets and sonatas, Bach arias, and much more. I'd join a choir, too, and sing my little heart out as often as I could. I might travel to Europe where I could "see" the history of music. I'd go to St. Mark's in Venice, and I'd go to see where Bach lived, where Mendelssohn lived, and all the great cathedrals where great music has always been played in praise to God. I'd also learn other genres of music; I'd learn to play jazz on the piano, and I'd learn to play folk music on the violin like Alison Krauss. And I'd always make music in church as often as I could, whether by playing my violin or by singing in the church choir.

If I could be a professor, I'd like to teach music history at a Christian college or university. I'd want to be involved in my students' lives, and show them daily how interested I was in each one of them. I'd teach the history of music as an integrated subject, not separate from "regular" history, or separate from the development of people, ideas, and cultures. I'd want to teach with a passion that instilled similar passion in my students, and I'd want to lecture in a way that wouldn't let my students forget things. I wouldn't make them wade through Stolba or other similar textbooks; I'd assign them key portions and then I'd give them library assignments to go and read primary source material. I'd bring stacks of CD's to classes each day and we'd listen to great music to inspire the students. I'd give tests that were fun to take. I'd drill basic questions like dates and facts, but I'd make sure to provide tons of open-ended essay questions like "Tell me everything you know about Brahms: his life and surrounding culture, his music, and his role in the history of music." Then I'd let my students go to it and write all they knew, and I'd reward good work with good grades and comments like "Bravo/Brava!"

If I could be a writer, I might like to be one kind of like Meghan Cox Gurdon. If I had a family, I'd integrate my family life into my life as a writer. I'd write amusing, engaging, and cute anecdotes from my daily life. I'd try to communicate experiences that other people would connect with. I might write opinion articles from time to time; however, my beliefs would always show through in whatever I wrote. I might try my hand at writing novels. I'd write books with a Christian worldview - books that weren't sappy, shallow, irrelevant, or superficial. I might write some Christian books for children and teens. I'd make them realistic and down-to-earth, instilling a Christian worldview without the shove-it-down-their-throats approach taken by so many Christian novels. If I could be a writer, I'd visit libraries and bookstores and get involved with things like children's story hour. I'd put on costumes and read dramatically. If I could be a writer, I'd try to write things that were funny, things that were true, things that were good, things that were engaging, and things that resonated with real people.

I'm so idealistic. But I like my ideals!

I tag Amir, Emily, and Libby! (Actually, I'd sorta like to tag everyone... I'd love to read all my friends' answers.)

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