Wednesday, February 18, 2009


My (our) daughter recently turned 29 years old. Wow. I remember 29 like it was last month, yet I eons ago named it My Worst Year So Far.

I've already shared some of the details with you here and there.

As I emailed an old friend this morning, Naomi is a professional drummer and is always in one rock band or another and she waitresses on the side. Funny things happen when I tell that information to people in-person. Some smile (or half-smile), some shake their heads--then stop themselves, some begin a clucking sound with their tongue (then stop themselves) and others turn and peer at items in the room or stare at my eyes to see how I really feel about this.

(As I've said before, I'm a watcher and a ponderer so I notice these things.)

Naomi earned a two-year degree in music and then she was finished with schooling. She'd had quite enough of classroom life and books, she told us. Some people are not meant for traditional ways of learning as the world has mapped-out and Tom and I understood that. Though Tom actually returned to college while Naomi was there, (and hugely enjoyed being confused for Naomi's brother), he's not a true traditional learner and I'm certainly not one, either. We both prefer gaining our knowledge in obscure, offbeat ways--here, there, and everywhere outside of boring ol' boxes.

But I digress....

Anyway, Naomi is an amazing drummer, everyone agrees, not just Tom and I, yet she gets paid pennies, relatively. She's an excellent waitress (or server as they now preferred to be called), but well, you can guess the money she makes from that. Although she does receive wonderful tips because she's terrific at her craft (again, not just a proud momma talking), in fact, I love her serving stories, how customers will tell her she's given them the best table service they've ever gotten anywhere. How they appreciate her attention to detail, her smile and her kindness. (She's so sweet... she says she feels bad for people when she must hand them their high bill.)

What am I really saying? Life becomes sweeter, calmer and more pleasant when we stop trying to cram everyone into the box named You Must Do Things A Certain Way If You Wanna Be A Success. You know, the ol', " You must be a business woman, a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a business owner," rigmarole.

For the truth will always be this: it requires a whole lot of differently talented people to make this world go 'round and if we were all office folk making the same wage, well, The World As We Know It would have spun off its axis centuries ago.

We need each other. We need all the myriad gifts, talents and abilities God places into each of us before He zooms us down into this planet to play our different roles.

And that's all I'm saying.

10 comments:

emma said...

i love female drummers...they bring a different 'sound' to the band/music. And so much fun to watch too! i'm glad she's found what she was created to do...i'm still looking!!

Jujita said...

A. Very true. What would this world be with out drummers and waitresses?
B. You sound like an amazing mom.

Anonymous said...

Debra, When my daughter tells people she has a masters degree in English Literature they usually say, "Want fries with that?" She also works as receptionist at a travel agency and people ask her why she wasted all that time at school to work in an office. She does what makes her happy and what she wants to do and that is what I taught her to do. So in my mind she is very successful. I wish I had done what I wanted to do years ago. So, I think you and your husband are great for being the loving parents that you are and caring about her happiness. Dolores

Nan said...

I love this!

jodi said...

Your daughter is so pretty. And so very cool to be a drummer.

Robin in New Jersey said...

What a beautiful young lady you have there! Pretty smile.

I have learned over the past few years that my children have to make their own choices and the ideas I have for them are not going to neccessarily be their ideas. SO I pray that God's will will be done in their lives. And I enjoy each one of them when I get to be with them!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

We each play different roles! Yesssss!

And we each 'look differently,' too. We each get to look like ourselves. [I think that's another too over-looked truth]

And a lovely looking daughter you have! Lovely, by all standards. Even those "fashionista" ones. ,-)

Aunt Amelia
"There seems to be so much more winter than we need this year."
~ Kathleen Norris

Saija said...

cool ... i don't think i knew that about Naomi ... she looks amazing, by the way ... *smile*

and it seems to matter not if one is really good as a musician (take my brother - guitar world called him "the best unknown guitarist in north america" ... he has made some $$ on his music, but he definintely has a day job!) ... some make it big, some don't ... but as long as the love of music stays - then i think the unknowns may just have more joy than those harrassed by stardom ...

Judy said...

So like you to have a daughter who not only marches to the beat of a different drummer, she is also the drummer!

Way cool!

Kim said...

Good for her - and you! She's beautiful. Surely takes after her mother.
I too have a child (the one and only as well) who marches to the beat of his own drummer (ha!); never went to college. He has crept his way up the line cook ladder and loves working in the kitchen; creating dishes, the stress, the heat, the weird hours - loves it. He's funny, caring, a good listener, caring. What else could a parent want really? (except grandchildren maybe ;)