May 15, 2006

In the Middle of the Night

My kids are incredibly single-minded when it comes to achieving goals. Boy in Black will stay up and practice his guitar in the middle of the night if he has a lesson the next day. He seems to need no sleep. During the first 48 hours of owning a set of harmonicas, he practiced non-stop. Lately, he’s been teaching music theory to his brothers and the extras, and he takes his role as teacher very seriously.

Last night, I woke in the middle of the night to hear music coming from my living room. On a school night. Not the usual drums and electric guitars that I hear on weekends, but gentle, pretty music from a guitar and piano.

I came down the stairs to find Shaggy Hair Boy at the piano, and Boy in Black next to him, with his guitar. I glared at them both. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Boy in Black looked up from his guitar and said patiently, in the kind of calm, rational voice usually reserved for small children and crazy people: "Well, I’m playing the chord progression from the song Let’s Dance. "

"IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?"

"It’s a Benny Goodman number."

"IT’S A SCHOOL NIGHT!"

"And he’s improvising in the key of E flat."

"SHOULDN’T YOU BOTH BE IN BED?"

"Doesn’t it sound good? I’m pretty good at teaching music."

I had to admit that he was right. The music sounded great. Shaggy Hair looked up with a grin, and then back down at the keys. I sat on the comfy couch and listened, then took a photo. I love watching the two brothers work together, both so intent on their music.

I knew that they would both be tired in the morning. And so would I. But still, I couldn’t help but think they’ve got the right priorities. On a nice spring night, with the smell of lilacs coming through the window, making music seemed like the right thing to be doing.

boysatnight

24 comments:

peripateticpolarbear said...

It just wouldn't have been the same in broad daylight.

BeachMama said...

That is beautiful. I bet you are tired, but glad you got up to listen.

Piece of Work said...

AS a non-musical person from a non-musical family, I think this story is fantastic. I would LOVE to be able to create music like that.

Mona Buonanotte said...

You are the coolest mom EVER!

jayfish said...

great story.

Mrs. Coulter said...

You have the coolest kids! And some music just sounds better at night.

Scrivener said...

Mona's right.

Leslee said...

You're so much nicer then I would've been!

nancy said...

You ARE indeed a very kool mom. I can only hope one day my teenage boys are playing music, if that's the worst (or best) thing they do in the middle of the night.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I just love you, jo(e)! You're such a great Mom, a great friend and great writer!!! LOL! And your boys are grwoing up to be wonderful young men!!! And no wonder!

(did you notice the little story about your woods on invisible trail?)

susan said...

you are such a wonderful mother. good for all of you!

kate5kiwis said...

yep *so cool*
your boyz sound like mine (ten and eight)... but they prefer daylight hours for creating moozik

Mieke said...

YEAH FOR ENDURING BROTHERLY LOVE!

mibi52 said...

bliss

ccw said...

I love you and your wonderful kids. Are you taking applications for new family members?

Teri said...

Benny Goodman is totally middle-of-the-night music.

jo(e) said...

kate5kiwis: Just give them a few years ....


CCW: No application necessary. Just show up on Friday afternoon. That's what the other extras do.

Claire said...

Terrific mom and wonderful boys.

Jen E said...

A friend of mine, who also has teenagers, has commented that during these years we have to stay up late because that's when our kids open up. It's so true.

My eldest will head off to college this fall, and recently I've been so grateful for several occasions when he and I are the only ones still up (in a family of 6). He's much more "real" and available and thoughtful in late night conversations. I am by nature an early morning/early bedtime person, but for a while yet, I'll be treasuring these late night opportunities to witness the emergence of new adults.

Enjoy the music.

listmaker said...

a wonderful story and wonderful kids

Sally said...

What a wonderful story and how wonderful it is when our children make music, it is one of those things that can really draw them togehter isn't it...

Tabitha Grimalkin said...

Jo(e) -- you and your family are simply awesome! Thanks for these wonderful posts.

Autumn said...

how absolutely lovely

Friday Mom said...

Beautiful.