A Christmas Timeline

As reported over breakfast on Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve, 11:30 pm: Mom wakes up. Must have dreamed the kids were prowling around downstairs shaking packages to see which ones were Legos. Certain she can still hear someone down there. Gets out of bed. Dark. Kids sleeping all snug in their beds. Dog snoring on the floor.

Just past midnight: The ten year old wakes up from a dream about zombies that morph into a basketball game.

1:00 am: Footsteps on the roof. The seven year old looks out the skylight to see a flashing light. Scrambles under the covers so Rudolph doesn’t tell Santa he’s awake.

2:00 am: The ten year old thinks he hears the gate at the bottom of the stairs, but falls back to sleep.

4:30 am: The twelve year old is wide awake. He tiptoes into his parents’ room, crawls into bed.

5:00 am: Two brothers whispering down the hall. The oldest bolts to see what’s up.

5:15 am: Mom and Dad lie awake listening to the excitement brewing. Three boys show up at the foot of the bed. “Not until six o’clock,” says Mom.

5:45 am: The jingle of bells. An amp, electric guitar and baritone horn. Three boys play Jingle Bells, singing as loudly as they can.

6:00 am: Silly String is discovered in three Christmas stockings.

7:00 am: Presents unwrapped, boys clean Silly String off the ceiling fan in the bedroom. The smell of bacon cooking. Christmas music. Everyone wearing new jerseys from rival football teams and socks that say “awesome” and “strong” and “lucky”.

Baseball and the Basement Band

My six year old is a busy guy. After a quick homework drawing to represent, “we are painting 2 red birds”, he convinced me to pitch baseballs to him, so he can practice hitting before his kindergarten team starts practice in a few weeks.

Still in February, our three innings were played in freezing temperatures, me the only one wearing a jacket. So we came inside to warm up.

The discordant sounds of his brothers practicing their instruments drifted up the basement stairs, and he took off, shouting over his shoulder, “I gotta go to band practice!”

Seconds later, his bleating vuvuzela drowned out Piano Man by our eleven year old pianist and Seven Nation Army simultaneously picked by our ten year old on his electric guitar.

I was later informed that they are working together on a fusion of pop, hip-hop and rock n’ roll.

But he really wants to play drums.

And the Question for Today Is…

How does a boy climb over his electric guitar to get out of the minivan in the morning and still forget it?

I have studied this phenomenon for several years, and it entails a seven-step process.

Step 1: Leave your electric guitar in the house despite multiple reminders that you have band practice after school.

Step 2: Think really hard after mom asks, “Did you forget something?” Race back into the house to get your instrument, thus delaying school arrival. 

Step 3: Lay your electric guitar on the floor of the minivan, where you and your brothers will have to step around and over it to get out.

Step 4: Drag your backpack over the backs of the seats into the third row, hitting your little brother in the head as you do so. Act like his head was in the wrong place.

Step 5: Roll your eyes when mom reminds you for the fifteenth time about where to go after band practice, for which you will require your electric guitar.

Step 6: Arrival at school. Yell at your little brother that he is taking too long to get out of the car, while he avoids stepping on your treasured electric guitar at his feet. 

Step 6: Your big moment. Drag your backpack over the backs of the seats. Hit your head (that’s just karma) as you climb over the electric guitar on the floor. Jump out. Swipe your long rockstar bangs out of your eyes. Close the door.

Step 7: Walk half-way across campus before mom asks, “Did you forget something?”

An Unusual First Play on Electric Guitar

My nine year old has been taking guitar lessons, but he had never played an electric guitar before yesterday.

Picture it. A nine year old in khakis, pale yellow tie and blue blazer. School gym. Grandparents’ Day.

The music teacher hands him an electric guitar at morning rehearsal so he won’t be drowned out on his classical. In his debut performance, he rocks out before an audience with an average age of seventy-five.

The concert is followed by, “I need an electric guitar.”