Monday, December 19, 2011
Daddy's Turn to Play
When Beau was a baby, my husband Scott -- who can play six instruments -- was in two bands. In this picture, from November 2007, we're watching Daddy (highlighted in the background) on stage at French Broad Brewery here in Asheville. Note the special ear protectors we found online for our chubby little dude, who was 13 mos. here, a chart-busting 29 pounds, and still a month away from walking. (I pulled an unlikely scapular muscle trying to keep him from crawling on the bar floor, puppylike, after a fallen pretzel.)
Not long after, Scott quit playing out. Working a new full-time job tipped him into the red zone, stress-wise. With that and two bands, he hardly ever got to see his baby. He felt guilty and overwhelmed. He continued to play at home, when he found a spare minute, writing songs, lapsing quite happily into the loner-dom that suits him best. But years have passed, and Scott's itching again to connect with like-minded musicians. Occasional jams are now taking place in our subterranean man cave. A new band may be brewing. And the kid's pissed.
Father and son have always been bonded like mortar and brick, and once he started to talk, Beau expressed suspicion of any instrument taking Daddy's attention away. Among other wince-inducing sentiments, we have heard: "You like that guitar more than meeeeee....." I'm quite sure such a phrase could only be uttered by a doted-upon only child.
And now that three male friends, all bearing their own instruments, have started appearing at night like some ominous version of the wisemen, it's show time. At the first jam, Beau could not be budged from the adjoining basement room, lest the interlopers fail to relinquish Daddy after the sesh was over. There was a tantrum at bedtime.
But it's gotten better. "One day," I tell him, "we'll go see Daddy play on the stage again, and you'll be so proud." He's begun to creep into the fray during practice and stay awhile, curled up in an armchair and watching, even bobbing his head a bit. Last night, Beau was even able to fall asleep while the music raged on. It was loud: his room sits directly above the action. But he whispered a lyric here and there, in his father's own words.