A Stranger in the House

A peaceful Saturday morning gave way to afternoon storms…or at least that’s how it sounds.

Boombaboomboom CLANG!
It’s just past noon, and my son, Emmett, and two of his friends are upstairs playing his drums. Boombaboomboom CLANG!

Gotta love the new cymbals he just bought with some of the money he earned this summer at his first job. He certainly does.

When he first asked to play drums, we resisted as long as we could with a staccato of excuses from money to space. (“Theyarereallyexpensivewedon’thaveagarageandnoyoucan’thavethegardenshed,etc.”) But it was my father, of course, who ultimately broke the embargo by buying him drums for Christmas last year. Ah, grandparents!

My husband and I thought we had at least controlled the situation a bit by insisting on electronic drums, that use headphones. That worked surprisingly well for about two hours, until my brother-in-law, Ted, gave him an amp. Thanks, Ted, next year, you get a puppy!

Soon, my son was pounding away until the pots and pans on the ceiling rack rattled for hours on end, and it didn’t take long before he was fantasizing about an acoustic drum kit that could really break the sound barrier (and the china).

My brother, Brian, a bachelor with no children, who lives in Philadelphia, quite far from our burgeoning rock star’s practice sessions, obliged with a tricked-out drum kit with all the headache-inducing bells and whistles. Ah! Siblings!

Uncle Brian did make arrangements for our son to practice in my parents’ rental bungalow when their summer boarder moves out next week. My mother is thrilled. Sorry mom…really.

Until then, however, its boomboomboom CLANG for us.

I’m told Emmett’s a pretty good drummer. His friends seem to enjoy it, and though I haven’t actually poked my head into his bedroom today, I have a pretty clear picture of the scene.

"The boy grew. He grew and he grew and he grew. He grew until he was a teenager. He had strange friends and he wore strange clothes and he listened to strange music. Sometimes his mother felt she was in a zoo!"

In Robert Munsch’s book the mother feels like she’s in a zoo. With us, it is more like living below stampeding elephants. I should be grateful, however. Besides his noise-making capacity, my son is pretty easy to live with.

No such luck for friends of ours, who recently told us that sharing space with their teenage daughter is not unlike having a stranger in the house. They believe it may be nature’s way of cutting that emotional cord so that the empty nest will feel like a blessing.

“It’s like having a crazy boarder living upstairs,” they said.

boomboomboom CLANG!boomboomboom CLANG!boomboomboom BOOMBOOMBOOMCLANGCLANGCLANG!!!

If she moves out soon, I can have another boarder lined up for them on a moment’s notice.

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4 Responses to A Stranger in the House

  1. Jack Fichter says:

    A house without drums is not a home. I’ve been playing since I was five years old.
    I still do. Ask my neighbors.

  2. Olive Cray says:

    It will pay off when Emmett is paying off all our mortgages!
    Emmett, I will be your loudest roadie.

  3. Aunt Kathy says:

    Where are all of the books Aunt Kathy has bought him over the years? Is this where Wii’s “Rock Band” leads us? If so, I may sell ours on ebay tomorrow.
    You rock, Emmett! We’ll all “love you forever, love you for always”.
    The Lewins

    –I think Olive is already his loudest roadie.

  4. Music Enthusiast says:

    Great Blog. That drum cover is really good.

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