Sunday, February 23, 2014


Dear Son,

Last week, you turned thirteen. The two of us spent the long weekend in Seattle, and it was a trip that I will never forget. I hope it's a trip you won't forget, either; the Experience Music Project, skateboarding in Ballard and at Seattle Center, going to Jazz Alley with your great uncle and grandma to see Mindi Abair play Heart's Barracuda on saxophone, and exploring Pike Place Market: 

I am mostly okay with you becoming a teenager - that is, until I remember that you are my youngest child. In five years, you will leave for college and move on to adulthood. Likely, this will be harder on me than you; I have spent much of my adult life child-rearing, while you've spent all of your life working on the business of growing up. Moving forward will be no stranger to you, and I know you will be successful in anything you set your mind to.

One of the things about parenting that I always looked forward to was sharing my favorite music with you and your sister; I took great pride in taking you to see The Black Keys in concert, as well as listening to the new Black Sabbath album together. What I didn't anticipate was that you would reciprocate and share your favorite music with me: Let Her Go by Passenger and Disclosure's When A Fire Starts To Burn are all kinds of awesome. 

My hope is that your life will always involve music. I have seen your enormous musical talent solidify in the last year. Part of the reason is that in addition to your weekly drum lesson, you started studying jazz this year. You have gone from being a novelty as the youngest drummer in your music academy to a solid onstage presence in five short years. It is no exaggeration to say that when you performed last month, it was one of the best days of your father's life. 

It is a joy watching you perform with your sister. Speaking of which, you are an excellent brother. One of my proudest moments was the time you stepped in and told your sister's then-boyfriend, who was being an idiot and gloating over beating her in a board game, that he needed to 'let your girlfriend win'. 

Happy birthday, son. I love you always.

I love that I know what 'rock to fakie' means, but mostly...I love you.



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