When you are attempting to father a child with seemingly unlimited artistic ability, a tension may arise. Between encouraging the natural flow of his enthusiasms on the one hand and what I call "socio-economic correctness" on the other. Meaning, what others of my social set (such as it is) feel the "proper" direction for their (our) children is in life. The "socio-economically correct" view allows of only about a half dozen career options. Continually amazed, my wife and I go out of our way to encourage the Future Rock Star's artistic bent, probably because neither of us has ever really known an artist before. Much less loved one more than oxygen.
Still, the tension is ever-present. Certain beloved and wildly successful persons close to me have made it clear that playing music or painting are what you do for recreation, not for an occupation. Seen in this light, the classic Fender Stratocaster guitar we gave the FRS a few years ago was, in the minds of some, the equivalent of handing him a heroin kit for his birthday.
Three years ago, when the FRS was nine, I was handling carpool with him and a small pal in the back seat of the car. The following exchange occurred...
Pal: You play the guitar, don't you?
Pal: Who is your favorite guitar player?
FRS: Jimi Hendrix.
Pal: Oh, yeah, Jimi Hendrix. What band is he in again?
FRS: [raising an eyebrow]. He isn't in a band. He died when he was twenty-eight, probably of a drug overdose.
Pal: [after a long pause, then with disgust] EEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.
FRS: [crossly] Look man, Hendrix is my favorite guitar player, not my life model.
Well. One point for the home team. I continued driving down the road. A huge grin on my face.
Inspirational Note: Thanks to Toad for his thought provoking post of 1/16. ML
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