When I had kids and they all had penises, I figured that Bill would have them doing sporty things. I resolved that I would dedicate myself to making sure that each of them had a hobby he adored and could turn to when his knees had been replaced and his gut was lopping over his belt.
I began early, by buying cheap musical instruments and leaving them lying around. I’d already discovered that boys screwed with anything in their path. Why not sow the path with items I wanted them to find?
Finn’s first drum was actually made out of a pancake box and some string. He wore it with pride in this picture from 2000:
(The training potty in the background demonstrates that I was using the same “leave it around and boys will use it” theory of potty training, which was a bust.)
We never listened to Barney or Disney music in the car. I started the guys on the Beatles and Elvis and worked my way up through Blondie, Steely Dan and the Ramones, the history of rap, Johnny Cash, grunge, and everything else on my iPod. When they got old enough to understand cusses, I had to cut out the Buzzcocks and Eminem and “My Humps“, but overall they got a solid foundation of a variety of musical styles.
A year later Finn progressed to a real drum.
By then he knew that he needed to enlist his brothers in his musical journey and they were happy to oblige. Drew gravitated to the guitar while Porter would happily play anything, including kazoo. I banned the kazoo after an hour.
In 2003 Finn had just turned eight. Santa brought him the coolest tiny drum set ever. He banged on it all day and begged for lessons.
He’s now gone through five years of lessons and a set of drums from the pawn shop. After his third year of lessons we decided to invest in the drums you see here. For Christmas and his birthday he asks for a new cymbal or a double bass pedal or some other addition. Apparently drums and their accessories can expand until they engulf your entire basement, leaving only enough room for your family to huddle in the corner when the tornado sirens blare.
Here’s a snippet of what I hear every afternoon.
I can sleep through gutbusting jam sessions like this. I think that makes me mom of the year.
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