17 Jul
2014
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Living in the Din of a Family Band

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.

Saxophone as part of the family band

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.

Recorder as the newest family band instrument

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.

Family band drummer

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.

 

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