It’s nice to be in a family of musicians. I never know when an impromptu concert will start.
Lately it’s been in the mornings when Patrick, my oldest, is making breakfast before heading out for work. Usually while the coffee’s brewing or the egg’s frying, he’ll grab his acoustic and start noodling around.
The air fills with folk tunes. Some are rousing and joyful, but others like “Landslide” are poignant. As Fleetwood Mac writes, “Time makes you bolder. Even children get older. And I’m getting older too.”
That’s how I feel lately, poised between having children close and yet seeing them grow away. It’s a wistful, vulnerable time.
Patrick’s love of music started in the seventh grade with the bass guitar. He needed something that year, something to do, something to make him feel special. He was shy, but learning an instrument gave him confidence. He met other musicians. They formed bands.
Ten years later, he’s been in several groups and now in addition to bass, plays electric and acoustic guitar. My son also writes songs and albums that are rich and complex and beautiful. He plays and banters to crowds of people who come to listen. I sit in the audience glowing with pride.
Music, like any art, is a gift, a journey through life that only gets richer with age. I see now how Patrick needs music. Last summer he spent a month in Florence and didn’t bring any musical instrument with him.
A week later he bought an inexpensive acoustic in a back-alley shop near the Duomo. It now sits proudly on one of our many guitar stands throughout the house, Patrick’s favorite souvenir. I hope someday he passes it on to his grandchildren.
I love all of Patrick’s shows — from the blistering rock sessions to the acoustic songfests. But my favorite is the early morning concert.
To the smell of frying bacon and burble of the coffee maker, I’ve come to associate these times with happiness, with those moments before Patrick and I start our day, before he moves out someday to start a new life.
I’ve come to treasure these interludes and will miss them. But right now my son is here and so is his music. I’m grateful.
Do have any special morning routine with a family member? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you.