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Over the last few years, I’ve felt a small tug in my spirit to revisit playing musical instruments. As a parent, I’ve done a lot of reflection on my own childhood, in order to honor some of the things I now appreciate, which my parents provided me with as a child.

Musical instruments were a really big part of my life as a child (and beyond). I grew up in a household filled with all sorts of musical instruments, which included: Piano(s), organ, harpsichord, harp, flute, drums, guitar, bass, electric guitar, xylophone, autoharp, trombone, trumpet, piccolo, didgeridoo, saxophone, recorder, violin and harmonica…

I’m sure there are a few instruments missing from that list…

My Mom was the primary driver behind our massive (ever-revolving) collection of musical instruments. She found a tremendous amount of joy in hearing her children play their instruments. For a woman who should have played Carnegie Hall, she found herself the audience member to her children – and she loved every moment.

As I’ve been putting together my new home, or as I call it “restarting my life” I’ve found a small collection of instruments to play during my free time. Most recently, I found a piano for sale; the exact make and model of one of our household pianos in the Plaat family.

Sitting down to play it for the first time, I looked back at all of the times I sat in front of a piano. Far too many to count, I often loathed having to practice. As a child, it didn’t interest me nearly as much as Commander Keen, yet I was ‘forced’ to play piano in exchange for ‘computer time’. That was a pretty smart trick on the part of my parents; we’d have to play an equal amount of music as the time we spent on the computer.

Now in my 30’s, I wish I had paid more attention to the lessons, hours of practice and support from my parents to keep playing instruments. Taking a decade-long pause has wiped a lot of those memories away. Memories I now wish I had…a lot more than all of the partying I did – that’s another topic for another time.

I’ve often looked up to my older brother, Steve. He never stopped playing piano, and is now a true Master at the art of playing a piano. Some artists touch into the divine and bring those visions through their painted work. Steve bridges Heaven (and hell) and Earth with the way he graces the keys of a piano.

There’s a part of me that wishes I could play like Steve. On the other hand, there’s a part of me that realizes I play a particular way as I am and the way that I play, and that’s perfectly fine with me.

There’s a saying “honor your Mother and your Father, and you will live a long life.”

More than ever, I understand what those words mean. When I look back at the way my parents raised me, a way of honoring them is to carry forward some of the ways they chose to parent – because they did an incredible job.

As a Dad, I want more than anything to provide a stable, enriching, educational, adventurous, fun and loving environment for our son, Atlas. Good people don’t happen by accident; they’re the result of quality circumstances.

“Quality” doesn’t have to mean those circumstances are easy. Sometimes the most difficult lessons are the ones that breed the most character. However, that’s a separate topic all on it’s own…

 

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