Parenting level +1

My exhaustion level for the last couple of days has been extraordinary even for the first (full) week of school, and today we had to get the boy ready for his upcoming first day of school– which included a meeting with the band director so that he could pick an instrument to play this year and then meeting with the local instrument rental folks to remortgage my house set up a rental plan for the new instrument. My wife, who you may remember makes considerably more than I do, generally handles any sort of payments that school requires, but I’m taking care of instrument rental, more or less because it’s my turn. And after 32 payments, we’ll own an alto saxophone!

Super exciting.

Actually, I am excited, if only because the boy is out of his mind about the idea of getting to play the saxophone, and his enthusiasm is infectious. I have attempted to play a host of instruments in my time– violin, French horn, trombone, ukulele and harmonica come to mind without thinking too hard, and the closest I’ve ever come to being a competent player of an instrument was getting good enough to consistently 100% anything on medium difficulty in Guitar Hero. Once I had to start moving my hand to pick up that blue fret, though, I was done. I think I have a passable, or at least not embarrassing, singing voice, and that’s as close as I’ll ever get to being a musician. My wife is staggeringly more talented than me in that department, so we’ll hope the boy follows in her footsteps and not mine.

What this means, of course, is that there are fourth grade band concerts in my future. I will grit my teeth and clap and be supportive while dying on the inside, like a good dad’s supposed to, and hope that he sticks with this long enough to become legitimately good at it.

We’ll see, I suppose.

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Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.

One thought on “Parenting level +1

  1. I can tell you now that the songs he learns will be embedded in your psyche as you listen to him practice the same thing over and over. (I still hear my daughter’s flute practice sessions in my head to this day, and she just turned 27!) We ended up just buying a used flute for her because it was so much cheaper than renting; I laughed out loud at your ‘remortgage the house’ comment because it’s so true!

    Seriously – enjoy. The concerts are usually pretty fun!

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