When my kiddos were little they had a piano teacher who was originally from Poland. Communist Poland.
She was intense.
WAY too intense to be teaching my children how to play the piano.
For awhile, I didn't realize this was a bad fit. We had never had a piano teacher before and I just kind of thought maybe it was all supposed to be this intense.
Until one day, my middle daughter, who was beautiful, socially self-conscious and pretty intense herself, played a little piece she had memorized for her teacher. It was lovely. A little wooden, and perhaps played with a tinge of fear, but lovely nonetheless.
Ms. Intense Piano Teacher said to my somewhat fragile child:
"You played that perfect ... but not quite perfect (imagine a Russian accent here). Therefore, I will give you a gold star on your sheet of music, but I will Ri-i-i-p one of its arms off to make you remember that you played it perfect, but not quite perfect."
The next day, I fired Ms. Intense Piano Teacher.
But her phrase, "perfect, but not quite perfect" has remained in our family through the years, and we are able to laugh at it now.
But there is a lot of junk underneath and within and around that phrase.
So many of us see our lives this way - Perfect, but not quite perfect. And that last part - not quite perfect - detracts from our joy, our wonder at things, and our satisfaction in a job (pretty) well done.
So, here's a humorous little example of this:
Yesterday, I wrote a pretty serious post about finding God in the ordinary.
Lovely writing about a lovely moment in my life.
And I edited it, or so I thought.
And then I posted it! Out there for all the world (well, maybe 47 people) to see.
And in it, there was this hilarious mistake ...
I meant to write: "I felt the wind ON my cheeks..."
and instead wrote:
"I felt the wind OF my cheeks ..."
which kind of makes it sound like I enjoyed a good round of farting on my porch.
Which, of course, is NOT what I meant to say.
I read it this morning and my initial reaction was disappointment in myself:
"How could you have missed that? Everyone is is going to notice that, and they will think you shouldn't blog, you are not worthy to blog. You made an error ... perfect, but not quite perfect."
Instead - and I am starting to think this may be the truest sign of maturity - I laughed aloud at the hilarity of it all. And my own ridiculousness ...
My husband read it and e-mailed me: "Perfect, but not quite perfect."
And I smiled.
Life is good.
Life will always be perfect, but not quite perfect.
And so will I.
And so will you.