Posted in Gratitude, memoir, music, parenting

Perseverance: Gratitude Post 20, Baby!

eight ball copy.jpg with blair's name

Dear readers, I hope you guys are doing well! Thank you for stopping by. It’s day 20 of the November gratitude journal. Woo-hoo! Here’s a quickie free write, free association blogpost.

I am grateful for tenacity and perseverance and not being behind the eight ball or between a rock and a hard place, or stuck in the middle, or down in the dumps or  any of that.

Understand what I’m saying?

My son, Blair did the above cartoon when he was in middle school, if I remember right. Blair drew and tapped his way through life and is now a professional drummer. He started out with a practice pad at about six. He stayed with that darn pad for a year, never complaining. Slowly, piece by piece, a real  drum set moved in. I was always involved with music, his bio dad was a guitar player, and  Jesse, a gospel singer. Music was in the woodwork.

This kid was always into rhythm. During my pregnancy, I played James Brown, Duke Ellington, early  jazz and classical standards. We sang all the time.  In his  second and third grade years, I would get notes sent home about him, something to the effect of “Blair gets bored easily and constantly taps his pencil on the desk…” What’s the mother of a drummer to do? How did I ever survive it? How do kids survive it all?

From our experience, independent study during senior year in high school saved the restless forward- focused lives of both my kids. They wanted to be in the adult world ASAP. Living at home was not at the top of their priority lists. Living in a small town meant there were lots “aunts and uncles” to help with the task of transition during their busy lives.  Somehow, through sheer tenacity, a lot of demanding on my part-ie-you WILL  graduate high school-and fervent pleading with the man upstairs, our kids made it to adulthood and beyond. I still marvel at it.

 Both my kids got jobs as soon as the ink was fresh on the work permit and not because anybody “made them.” The deal was if you wanted to drive, you paid insurance, which back then was almost affordable with an after school job. Driving was a privilege that had to be earned. About jobs, we had three of us in the same family who worked at the local Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, which was owned by a local fishing family.

This post is dedicated to parents, grandparents, and great-grands everywhere who are raising kids or involved with care-giving. The sheer will to persevere is more than a line from the I Ching.  Perseverance is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel.’

Journal prompt: How are you feeling lately about challenges? What does perseverance mean to you? Do you have children or are you involved with their care? What stories inspire you about overcoming adversity?

Copyright © 2013 text by Susan E. Rowland

Art credit: Blair W. Rowland-Mullen


I made it this far and plan to keep going. I believe nature heals the soul. I love to journal, to write, do art, and music. I'm not afraid to tackle tough subjects. Solar-powered & drive hybrid. Trying to do my part. Earned my BA at 53. And, I believe, it's never too late to have a happy childhood.

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