One of my great fears in life is of moments when everything difficult converges. It happened yesterday. It was the morning of my student recital, the long-awaited time when the weeks of lessons, of plodding through mistakes and repeats and practicing with my young musicians finally blooms into a beautiful performance in front of their parents and grandparents and everyone gets tears in their eyes and claps and everything is good and right and beautiful.
Joseph and I had been practicing a recorder and guitar duet for months. It was so beautiful. I was so happy and proud to play it with him, every time we practiced.
He woke up Saturday morning with a cold and a not-so-great attitude. “I can’t play,” he said. I encouraged him to get up anyway, take a shower, maybe he’d feel better, please please please. Maybe you can play anyway. “No.”
Julia woke up with an existential crisis. “Being transgender is against God. I’m going to hell.”
One hour to go before the recital. I’m sitting with Julia discussing theology in very frustrating circles that go nowhere. Joseph is in the bedroom moaning.
But the recital happened anyway. Without Joseph. I clapped for my other lovely students who had not woken up with a cold or an attitude.
And one of my greatest joys in life are moments when everything good converges. That happens too. For my family, it seldom happens in the moments when you think it should. It probably won’t happen on Christmas eve, or any of those special times. But it will happen. Which, I suppose, is appropriate for the season, since even the birth of Christ didn’t converge under festive circumstances, but out in a stable during a hectic government census. And that was the greatest convergence of all time.