Friday, September 23, 2016

French Horn

There should never be an open book policy in parenting. You need to cultivate your brand carefully with your children so they will view you as a strong, virile man who can play all sports well and knows Karate and is very possibly a spy when he leaves for work every day.

So I have taken great pains to hide my marching band past from Elijah and Luca. I was the poster child for “band nerd” from age 10-18. Undersized, acne prone, lugging around a silver mouthpiece in his mom’s velvet Chivas Regal bag. In our basement, I’ve buried a pile of Normal Illinois “Pantagraph” newspaper clippings featuring my feathered blonde hair under a  marching band helmet. I prefer my sons believe I played bass guitar for “Pavement” in the 1990’s.

Imagine my surprise when Eli suddenly and passionately took an interest in band at school. I arrived home late from a recent New York trip and was ambushed by Eli and Luca, literally screaming my name (Dad) from upstairs. I figured they had a new Lego set to show me or wanted me to marvel at the massive amount of mold our tile guy found in our bathroom.

When I climbed the steps, I was greeted by a wary looking Diana. “They’re really excited to see you,” she said with the enthusiasm of a mom whose son just discovered the French Horn. In fact, her son had just discovered the French Horn.

“Look! Look! Dad! I got a French Horn! Just like the one you used to play!”

First off, I did NOT play the French Horn. French Horns are for pale, skinny men who wear all black and are usually named Marcel. I played Baritone Horn. The beautiful love child of the Tuba and Trombone. Second, how in the world did he know I played in band? Yes, I do give off a certain “hiding a secret about band camp” vibe. But I was shocked he knew.

As Eli farted out a few notes and I instantly felt so, so sorry for my parents when I was growing up, Luca began to describe the instrument he wanted. “It’s long and gold and has those buttons and sounds like this…fert fert fert.”

“A trumpet?” I asked.


We decided then and there to start a little jazz trio and Diana started looking at Michigan cabin real estate listings.

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