Yesterday I was called upon to play in a band.
No, this wasn’t Example A from middle school. We didn’t exactly sound like Almost Relentless did in high school. We most definitely did not sound like Take Notice from the college years. We don’t have a name for our band yet. All we have is an acoustic guitar, a plastic tub full of toys, a kid-sized ukulele, two wooden blocks, a children’s tambourine, three dancer/singers, and a whole lotta heart.
“Dad, can you go get your guitar?” was the simple request. When I got back to the room and opened up my hard shell case, the kids were setting up their instruments. They passed ideas back and forth about song ideas. The girls wanted to make sure they had the right costumes and that the stage would be able to fit all of them on it at once. My son just thought it was cool that we were both holding stringed instruments in our hands waiting for further instructions.
I started to play a random collection of chords, hoping our practice would start soon. The rest of my band saw that as the cue and starting banging on whatever they could. My daughter Ivy designated herself as the lead singer, and began yelling lyrics like “We are the band, the awesome band/ we are the coolest band there is/ we have to practice and sing our songs/ yeah, yeah we are the band!” I looked around the room, watching each of my kids try their best to contribute to what only could be described as musical chaos. The dissonance was painful. The backup singing was dreadful. The same notes and rhythms were being played over and over again.
But I didn’t stop it.
I just strummed the guitar, smiling, nodding my head to my band mates. I let a chord ring out, and surprisingly, they all got the cue to pause. They watched me. They put their hands down at their side waiting for instruction. Abruptly, Dawson, our little trouble-making three year old girl said, “OK dad, let’s do it again. 1, 2, 3, 4!”
The chaos continued.