A Mother’s Wisdom

Jeana - Newburyport, Massachusetts
Entered on March 12, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in the wisdom of moms. I believe that most moms have their kids’ best interests at heart and are making decisions they think will benefit their children in the long run.

My mom and I have always had a great relationship, but growing up, the one thing that caused repeated rifts between us was her persistence in me playing the violin and my utter resistance to it. I was introduced to the instrument at the ripe age of four, and the Suzuki method soon catapulted me into the world of sonatas, recitals and practice. Daily practice. Violin teachers were impressed with my stringed skills, other moms ooh-ed and aah-ed over my cute velour dresses, and I dutifully played.

As I progressed into the teen years, my violin-playing began encroaching on my active school and social calendar, not to mention, it wasn’t the coolest instrument to admit to playing. Why couldn’t my mom have started me off with the guitar? As parental pushback reared its ugly head, I made my feelings on the violin quite clear. Yet, despite the same rants and raves on my part, my mom would simply reply with statements like, “you’ll understand when you’re older” and “you’ll be sorry if you quit now.” It was a futile effort.

I begrudgingly played year after year, just waiting for the moment when I could be unleashed from the chains of this stringed instrument, which according to my mom, was after I graduated from high school.

My graduation, the heralded moment, came and was coincidentally paired with a trip to Italy to tour and perform with the youth symphony orchestra I played with. How fitting that my farewell to the violin would take place in a country that produced the most prolific composers whose music I slaved over for all those years.

The trip itself was an eye-opening experience and for the first time ever in my life, made me appreciate the talent that allowed me to get there. Hmm, maybe this is what my mom was talking about. Although she could have never predicted that my years of violin would end with such fitting fanfare, she knew that if I persevered, I would eventually appreciate it in some form.

And even though those violin playing days were decades ago, I truly believe that the traits I learned from playing all those years, like discipline, stick-to-itiveness, steadfastness and an innate ability to learn and appreciate music, to name a few, have served me well over the years.

Now, as a mom myself, I finally have some perspective on where my own mom was coming from because I constantly make decisions on what I think is best for my kids. For that, I believe in the wisdom of moms. My son just turned four and you know what I started looking into for him? Music lessons.