How drums saved the day in this midlife mom’s once quiet abode

Hard to imagine that drums could save the day.

“I hate piano.” That’s what my middle son said, over and over.

It was hard for me to hear.  I just imagined all three of my kids would be musical because my husband and I were musical.  Music was such a huge part of our lives.

When I grew up, I learned to play the saxophone.  Why? Because my mother played the sax and we had one kicking around for me to use.

I was fortunate enough to have grown up in an area in Pennsylvania with one of the best high school marching bands in the country.  Seriously good band.  And I was drawn to it.

I wasn’t disappointed either.  Those years were some of the best in my life.  We had a band director who was second to none.  His name was Steve Frederick, but he went by “Fred.” He had a huge impact on 1000s of kids and will never be forgotten.

Anyone who had the privilege of being a member of the North Penn Marching Knights knew they were experiencing something special.  It was the first time many of us had so many people depending on our giving 120%..  We were expected to give the highest effort when it came to music AND marching.  It was a precision effort at the highest level.  And we rose to the occasion accomplishing more than we ever thought possible.

Well, in Canada, sadly, the music program isn’t the same in the schools.

I was determined to find a solid musical experience for my kids.

But with “I hate piano” being said over, and over, and over again, I had an uphill battle on my hands.

Then my unhappy son said, “I hate music.”

That put me over the edge. No kid of mine was going to hate music.

I replied,”you can’t NOT play an instrument.  You come from a musical family.  That’s just the way it is.”

He looked at me.

I had to think quickly.  His whole musical future was at risk.

It came to me.  “How about drums?” I asked.

Again, silence.  But a different kind of silence.  A shocked silence. At my end too.  I couldn’t believe I said that. But at the same time, it was the kind of silence a parent lives for, when you know you’ve won.

“Really?” he wondered, still pretty surprised.

“Yes, it’s actually a percussion instrument, just like the piano.”  I thought that would confuse him even more.  “You see,” I continued, “you don’t really hate music.  You just hate piano.”

“OK.”  he said.  That was that.

And that, my friends, was the moment I deserved winning the “Mother of the Year” award.  Me and any other mom who agreed to drums in her house.

Well, that decision changed everything.

We got a cool drum teacher.  And my son took to drumming like a duck to water. He never looked back.  He is an awesome and serious musician, who has had lots of amazing opportunities to play live and even be on music staff at camp.  Drums gave him both the physical and creative outlet he needed.

And what was life like for this midlife mom?  I won’t lie.  It was horrible.  Even with my son’s excellent taste in music, we live in an open concept, Brady Bunch style home and it was brutal.  Definitely hard to think straight and nowhere to hide.

But, when you have the drum kit in your home, the musical kids come to YOUR house, which has been awesome. I’ve had the chance to meet lots of his friends and enjoy listening to some pretty great jam sessions.

And now…he’s at university, and the irony is….it’s too quiet.  The years flew by. How I would happily agree to another 10 years of lively percussion in my home.  How I miss my little drummer boy.

This is a common example of where my life coaching practice comes in. Helping those older and wiser contemporaries of mine rock at doing their midlife thing.  When it’s quiet in the house, when it’s hard to be a midlife mom and especially when we have difficult transitions to deal with…and teenagers who are becoming more independent.

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