The Great Sacrifice

The Death of Peace and Quiet

Parents will do anything for their children: Lift a car off their child. Fight off a bear. Run into a burning building to save their little ones. But the greatest sacrifice by far, I would argue, is letting one of them have a drum set.

The-Youngest, (perhaps inspired by his musically talented brother or some drum-solo music video), decided that the instrument that spoke to him the most was the drums. The boom of the base drum, the rat-tat-tat of the snare drum, the clang and clash of the cymbals.

When he came to us with his little face set in excited determination, the Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and I looked at each other like mice about to be fed to a large snake.

We knew what a drum kit would entail. We didn’t have a wood shack out back where he could play. We didn’t have a sound-proof room somewhere in the lower levels of our basement that was once used by a serial killer. We would have to set up in our rec room and that was only one uninsulated floor away from where we lived most of our lives – the kitchen, living room and family room.

Now, we could have said, no. We could have argued that the beautiful sound The-Oldest makes on his piano does not compare to the chaotic cacophony of someone learning to play the drums. We could have told him that drumming makes my eye twitch and will likely cause me to have epileptic fits.

Instead, we said, sure.

Cuz we’d do anything for our kids.

So, we rented a drum kit from Long & McQuade. The-Youngest set it up and began banging away immediately. The whole house shook with the noise. The dog tried to hide upstairs. All the neighbours around us immediately put up for-sale signs.

Had we made a terrible mistake?

Well, that remains to be seen, but we immediately put 3 rules into place. First, no drums before 9am and after 8pm. Second, if he’s to have drums, he’s to learn how to play them, not just bang away like a chimpanzee on heroin and coffee. Lastly, if asked to stop, for any reason at all (headaches, dog throwing up, trying to watch a movie, whatever), he would do it. Immediately and without complaint.

He agreed.

To his credit, he took the second part very seriously, solving the problem of learning by doing what all people do in 2019 – he looked up YouTube videos on how to play.

Now, after a month, I have to say, he’s not that bad. In fact, he’s kinda good. He started out with simple beats or rhythms or whatever you do on drums and practiced his coordination with his feet and hands.  Oh sure, the house still shakes, the dog still hides and most of the houses next to use are empty and noise bylaw officers lurk outside the house 24/7, but it’s not as bad as I feared.

We survived.

With our hearing and sanity intact.

I think our next great challenge will come when he wants to get a car.

Or a girlfriend.

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