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.