I rolled into the driveway right behind Amanda and the kids. They were practically leaping out before she came to a complete stop shouting, "Papa, Papa we got the drums! Can we set them up now?!!" A real drum set given to Calvin by a real live musician (thanks, Mackenzie!).
First... this requires a bit of musical background on my subject. I present to you a six and a half year old boy with a storied history of abusing and misusing all musical instruments and toys . "Sweet Calvin?", you say, "How can this be?"
The answer is easy - because the boy plays every instrument as hard and loud as he possibly can. This boy that knits and sews and loves fashion, nail polish and pink hand me downs from his aunties. He gets in front of anything that emits sound and crushes it with his hands, a stick, his feet, some knitting needles, whatever. I was beginning to think he just didn't have the patience or interest to make music at this point in his life. And, frankly, I've been getting a bit tired of the constant stream of used, abused and generally wrecked musical instruments that come across my workbench. Granted, I am a master with duct tape and glue. This is my medium. But how many times can i mold the wooden xylophone back into shape? Guitars with broken strings and broken necks. Congas with ripped skins and cracked wood. Did somebody leave this flute in the driveway?!!
The porch is swiftly cleared to make room for the new addition to the family. A tightening here, an adjustment there. He sets the stool in place ("it's called a 'throne' Papa") and climbs up. The sticks are too big and his feet don't reach the pedals. With a slight grin and a determined eye he hammers across each drum with a crisp, thundering roll and crosses back over his body to completely mash the cymbal. He stops and we are all laughing out loud at the spontaneity and precision of his first attempt. Later, I realize he had been, inadvertantly, training for that moment his whole six and a half year life. And finally the planets aligned and the drums found him and he nailed it. Off he goes for an extended jam while Ezra grabs the harp to accompany him and Adelaide is dancing and bobbing her head around the room. Maybe there is an instrument for every person or even every personality. And, perhaps, a time to be connected with that instrument. Maybe if I had taken an electric guitar lesson, as a seven year old, instead of piano, I'd have made it past my first lesson (don't ask).
Now, I'm just digging the beats.
And the band.