Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Guitar

You have a guitar that Papa (my dad) gave you for Christmas a few years ago. It's a bona fide real (kid sized) electric guitar, plucked from Papa's very own music shop just for you. It had an amplifier, past tense, but it never quite worked and I never quite complained about that.

Papa taught himself to play violin, have I ever told you that? I'm sure I have, I repeat my stories a lot, so you say. He wasn't much older than I am now when he learned and it wasn't long after that your talented papa, who was already pretty darn crafty at making birds out of wood, was manufacturing his own violins. And they worked! The violin we have, the one that sits in its case with broken strings and a neglected bow, was born from Papa's hands. I think that's pretty impressive.

Unfortunately, I did not inherit Papa's penchant for all things musical. He can play the guitar, the violin and who knows what else, but I could never get past the squealing deer part of learning. It hurts my ears too much to try.

I pulled that dusty electric guitar from your room this weekend as I was packing and sat it next to some boxes. Later that day, I picked it up and plucked loosely at the strings. It wasn't much and I wasn't trying to make music, but you were impressed.

Mommy! You play the guitar really good! Do it some more!

I thought you were just being the sweetheart you are, not having the heart to tell me I was hurting your ears.

It wasn't until later, when you enthusiastically told your father: "Daddy, guess what?! Mommy can play the guitar really good!" that I realized you truly believe with all of your heart, that your mom, me, yours truly, can play the guitar.

I could say something here, like it's time to have your hearing checked, but I won't. Instead, I'm going to revel in this sweetness, this knowledge that you think I can do something that requires a moderate amount of talent without even trying.

And maybe we'll start picking up that guitar a little more often.

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