Bay Area parents are a braggy bunch, admit it.

It’s hard to keep your ego out of your child’s triumphs or failures. I have a terrible time with this, keeping myself in check, not internalizing and identifying with each stunning screw up or brilliant antidote as a reflection of my utter failure or wise shepherding genius. I have had a lot of practice. My two high school aged sons play and write music constantly in our basement, because we have the drum kit. They also suffer from the laughable delusion that they are physically flying below the radar. They would too, if they didn’t haunt the byways of Marin, but rather camped permanently at an Eastern European Summer Metal Festival. Or Portland. They’d be much happier there too. They’ve mentioned it. The up side of hosting band practice?:

1) I know where they are 2) Their music, while it is huge and angry, is very physical so it doesn’t last long 3) It insures that we will never have termites or raccoons nesting nearby. Because they pride themselves on original compositions, there’s no suffering through agonizing Green Day covers or butchering of Zeppelin. As long as I don’t want to talk on the phone, read or think while they play, it’s all good. At their school’s holiday music showcase my ego was on a short leash. After a few acts I was getting a little smug and judgey. My boys played an original piece entitled, “Nordic Winds” or something like that. This was no power ballad; from the first drum beat and muscular chord it was an assault. Bodies leapt from seats, hurtled over rows to swarm a very tight space in front of the band. Elbows, dreadlocks, flannel shirt tails, a wayward shoe: the music had invoked a legit, though tame, spontaneous mosh pit. The pride I felt in my brood as their tribe were drawn by the rhythm and energy they created, beats any stellar standardized test score. Can ‘inspired eruption of a mosh pit” weigh as heavily on a transcript as “member of jr. symphony”? It should. But does it matter?

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