There are things that I never thought I would say until I became a parent, and there are things I never could have even guessed would come out of my mouth. I reflected on this the other night, while firmly telling my four year old son “now off to sleep, and no staying up playing your harmonica.” Taken in context, it made sense. No, really; it did. I had been going through a tub of random clutter that I’d kept with me, moving from place to place, for upwards of 15 years. Among the random collection of things were two harmonicas, a red one and a blue one, that I had been given by my grandmother, after they had sat in her basement since time immemorial. I wasn’t really sure to do with them–but my boys sure were.
My eldest son, who says enough crazy things of his own, is also a bit of a magpie. He loves to collect things, and particularly anything shiny. As the harmonicas were powder-coated chrome, he was SOLD. For my youngest, it was more about the music, I think–though I wonder if I should put “music” in quotation marks. The idea that this little rectangle could make more sounds than all of his other toys put together was amazing. As he might put it “it’s so soaky” (no idea; don’t ask). And so, here I stood, at the end of a very musical (and tiring) day, trying to make sure that his harmonica stayed solidly on his night table, rather than wandering into his hands for a late night jam session.
Being a parent is a funny thing, often both odd and hilarious. While it’s sometimes hard to be patient at the end of a tough day, when four years old has felt more like two, there’s some pretty good laughs to be found–if you can only put your harmonica down long enough to find them.