This gives me comfort.
Van Cliburn was a single minded man. And apparently, a single minded child.
Sometimes corrections by teachers feel too severe. It's hard to comfort a child who is being challenged to be better at something. Really, how do we do that? Stop the correction they are getting in their lives? Heaven forbid! But it's tough on them. I want to comfort them, want to make their ache and mine on their behalf go away. I have to consider very carefully the balance between respecting authority and comforting internal wounds.
Every day I question our parenting. Every day. Are we doing too much? Am I one of "those parents?" Are we doing too little? Is one getting more support than the other? I start to sweat, thinking about how I have the potential to "wreck" these lives, but then I remember, who better than us? Who could love them and know them more than us? As long as I am checking on their emotional and physical health each day, and reflecting on their response to what has been said and done, I think things will be ok. If the kids are not doing well and are unhappy, then we will change the schedule, shift the focus, push less/more, cheerlead less/more.
I've seen enough children grow up to know that there is no way to 100% predict what the adult will be. Really, if they grow up to be thoughtful and polite, I feel that's no small accomplishment. For today, the kids are alright. As far as tomorrow goes, who can tell? We just keep moving forward.