The Buckle Ball


Teen pianist and superstar, Jan Lisiecki, recently blew me away. In an interview he commented how his parents weren’€™t musicians. He felt compelled to share music with them: the emotion and the soul. Cool kid.
I suppose all parents have secret’€”or not so secret’€”desires for their child to be a prodigy of some kind. My mom confided that she hopes Baxter will be a major league pitcher. She fantasizes watching from the catcher’€™s seats, as Baxter nods to her knowingly just before he throws his trade-mark ‘€˜buckle ball’€™. I’€™ve never seen my mom watch a baseball game, or any sport for that matter.

Where are these overblown expectations born? I was brought up on the cusp of the ‘€˜you’€™re special’€™ generation. Meaning I was more or less taught extreme manners, humility (ha) and that I’€™m not exceptional or entitled to anything. I may earn it, but it still may not come. These values are instilled from war-generation parents and I still hold them as true.

Of course I’€™d be happy if Baxter was exceptional at something’€¦ anything, really. But let’€™s be realistic’€”he is partly my kid. The reality for me is that I do have an aspiration for Baxter. I’€™d love him to love music. I’€™d love him to play music and sing music. Moreover I’€™d love to play music and sing music with Baxter. Jammin’€™ with the kid; I couldn’€™t think of anything better.

I’€™m in a band right now. I was in two, but family demands made me choose the less motivated team. Playing in a band can sometimes resemble family life. When everyone plays well and thinks of the others, all of you enter a shared state of bliss’€”where skill, happiness and pride (excuse the pun) converge.

And just in case he is a guitar prodigy, I’€™m practicing more so I can keep up.


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