Growing up landlocked in Wyoming with parents who weren’t travelers meant the only thing I knew about beaches came from books and movies. We were mountain people. I traveled to Mexico in high school and realized I couldn’t be pigeonholed into loving one geographical feature. The beach had a magical hold of me. Unfortunately, the hold isn’t so strong that I find myself living anywhere near a coast. A beach with ocean views is at least a 16 hour drive... [Read More]Read more
I pulled into our garage, shut off the engine and started to climb out of my vehicle. Then I heard it. That sound that’s distinctly MY home.
The sound is part saxophone, part recorder, part pan flute, part drum, part guitar mixed with baby stroller wheels rolling on the wood floors combined with periodic whining and the constant sounds of LEGOs being sorted. My house is loud: filled with people, music and life. Our home has always been filled with singing, music and toy instruments. The addition of real instruments actually playing recognizable songs is a new element to our family sound.
For 12 years, my husband stored his high school saxophone in our basement. It saw light only a few times in all those years. In our school district, band first becomes an option in 5th grade. Last September, the saxophone was dug out and dusted off. Our oldest claimed it as his own, and my home would never be the same.
The addition of a legitimate musician in the house opened the doors for everyone else to take on an instrument. There are family band practices and performances, complete with spotlights and announcers. It’s glorious and oh so very loud. I wonder daily if my neighbors can hear what is happening inside these walls. They must be able to. I can barely think at times. I struggle not to lock myself in the garage so the kids are free to make music without their mother losing her ever-loving mind. I bite my tongue and politely ask the kiddos to kindly take the music downstairs. It just so happens the newest passion in our house happens to be an extremely loud one.
Multiple times a day several children will remind me that starting a band is a thing they can actually do. We know people who have done just that, several people in fact. Starting a band is a dream you can follow.
My kiddos have heard me talk about one of our friend’s passion for music and how wonderful I believe it is he chose to follow his dream, no matter how difficult the path. This is how I know children listen to everything. One day those same children become parrots, and I hear each and every word I’ve said come out of their mouths. “You can do and be anything you put your heart and mind to.” “Following your passion takes courage.” “Don’t be like everyone else. Be you.” I’ve said all of those and had them thrown back at me. It’s hard to argue with yourself. At least once a day, I’m reminded by my four little people how fantastic I think it is for people to follow their heart, even if it’s not what society says you should do. Follow your dream even if it’s to forfeit a job after college to see just how far your band can go.
If one day I find myself listening to the band my sons longed to create, I’ll remember that crazy, noisy, squeaky, music-filled house and that mama who longed for quiet and be glad she didn’t tell them to stop.
Two days ago I would have said the days my children look forward to without fail are their birthdays and Christmas. Alas, I was wrong (again). I had not lived through the pandemonium surrounding the release of Minecraft Pocket Edition 0.9.0…better known as “the biggest update ever.” I was completely unaware of how life altering a game update could be for young people. Thursday may as well have had a red circle marking the importance of the date. I’ve listened... [Read More]Read more
I survived one of my least favorite parenting tasks this week…the county fair parade. I have a high tolerance for all things kid-related, but the county fair parade has me actively attempting to bribe my children out of the whole affair. It’s hot. We’re never there early enough to be in the shade. No matter how early I attempt to secure a shady spot, I fail…every year. People and chairs start showing up on sidewalks a full three hours before the parade... [Read More]Read more
I was pulling on running shoes at 5 a.m. today and well into an over 4-mile hike by 5:30…in the morning. I am a night owl, more accustomed to moon watching than sunrises. My second wind, more like third wind, for the day hits around 10 p.m. I take care of little things I didn’t get to during the day, open a book I don’t have to read out loud or enjoy the quiet of the house with my husband. Most... [Read More]Read more
If there’s one thing I like more than the act of making a list, it’s crossing items off the list. We’ve purchased an annual U.S. National Park Service pass for several years in a row now and have steadily crossed places off the list by collecting “passport” stamps at places visited. This weekend we visited our sixth and final location in Wyoming and our 46th place overall in the National Park Service system. Our final Wyoming destination was Fossil Butte National... [Read More]Read more
I used to play on a rickety merry-go-round trying to avoid splinters while I held on. I was biding my time while the sun dipped farther into the horizon, just waiting for that moment when the movie screen would come alive with dancing concession stand goodies. I’d run back to the car, weaving between vehicles and posts with speakers stretched toward windows. The drive-in theatre is a highlight from my childhood memory reel. We don’t live close enough to a... [Read More]Read more
We found ourselves at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Sunday morning, and it was completely our children’s choice. We were in the Denver area for the weekend with no plans for Sunday before heading back to Wyoming. Sitting in the hotel room after breakfast, we let the kiddos decide what we would do that day. They’ve been to Denver multiple times and know what the metro area contains. After throwing around various arcade-type options, they collectively decided on... [Read More]Read more
I believe there’s magic in a pan flute. More precisely, I believe music is magical and has the power to transform moods, circumstances and people. There are multiple studies on the topic, but I’ve witnessed it first-hand in my family this summer. Making and learning to play the pan flute was the one and only thing my 9-year-old wanted to accomplish this summer. Rewind a few months to when my Facebook status update referenced J’s desire to play the pan... [Read More]Read more
I’ve contemplated running a 5-kilometer race several times over the last few years, never seriously though. I’ll read a poster for a 5K and think I should try that, only to remind myself of something very important. I’m not a runner. I enjoy exercise, just not running. Honestly, I’ve never given running a legitimate chance. It simply doesn’t appeal to me. We had several friends who went to color run 5Ks in bigger cities the last couple of summers, and... [Read More]Read more