I have been on the interviewee side of plenty of job interviews, and -- in my years of snowsports instruction -- have attended stressful tryouts and exams for various PSIA ed staff positions and certification levels.
But never was I so nervous for an audition as I was two months ago as I pulled my guitar and tuner from its case.
I love to sing and play the guitar. Notice I didn't say "I'm really good at singing and playing guitar." Instead, I know a few chords, I'm not tone-deaf, and I notice -- rather than glass breaking -- people tapping their feet when I play. I like to go to the monthly open microphone at the Richmond Bakery, and I like to fool around at campfires and in the living room.
While Ali was pregnant with Gunnar, I sang a few songs to our unborn baby at least a few nights a week. I sang "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins, "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the frog, and "I Don't Know Your Name," by me (for him). She reported (just to be nice, I'm sure) that the baby seemed at its most relaxed when I did this.
Then he was born, and the time came for him to hear me live. Would he like it? Would he cry? I timed the audition for immediately after a diaper change and a feeding; I didn't want him associating my music with starvation or (worse) sitting with a load in his drawers.
Music is an amazing thing. As I strummed the first chord, his blue eyes got huge and penetrating as he stared right at me. He gave me his undivided attention... and then he started to dance: flailing his arms and kicking his feet. Here I am in my Forties, but I have never felt like such a success as at that moment.
Even more amazing is his recognition of the songs I played for him when he was in utero. Even now -- months later -- he responds even more to those. He has new favorites too, but those three are our songs.
I'm sure he'll get sick of me eventually. But for now, making music and playing guitar have become one of our favorite pastimes (right up there with baths and the "Up...Down, down, down" game). For me, it is just a gift that my kid seems to love when I do one of the things that I most love doing... and I'll take that gift as long as he'll give it.