There are no excuses and it’s nobody’s fault but mine. I haven’t spent enough time with my children. My son just turned 40 and my daughter is going to be 29 plus a few. Most memories that I have are through their childhood as Army Brats, and their adolescent years. Those memories are few and precious.
Between Middle School and High School, my son came home one day and declared that he would like to join the High School Band. Hoozah! That was exciting. So, I’m suddenly budgeting a saxophone in my head, but my son says that he wants to play the flute. Oh wow, how badass is that, eh? Another upside, we can still afford electricity!
High School band practice, first day, my son comes home in tears. Why so? “I’m the only boy flute player in the whole band.” I understood. I felt his pain. I also knew that hanging out with all the other flute players would not be a bad thing.
I stepped into a nearby phone booth for a quick-change to my Super Hero persona, “Moderately Alright Dad with Good Intentions.” (I already said that I have no excuses.) The situation is dire. I wish I had a crime-fighting companion. No, I must do this alone.
I need a plan. The fate of the world is at stake. What can I do? Aha!
Ian Anderson is a flute player. Ian Anderson is a flautist! Jethro Tull is not just an English agronomist. (I just assume that everyone is familiar with the band Jethro Tull.)
There is a groove on the LP record that the needle fits in so well. There’s just one. I found it. Crank it up and listen. We did. “Jethro Tull Live, Bursting Out.” I cued “Locomotive Breath.” Glasses rattled on the shelves. A single beam of sunlight shone through the window, highlighting the spinning record. My son drew Excalibur from the stone … It wasn’t quite that dramatic, but this is my memory.
“That, my son,” I said, “Is a flute player!”
Of the Locomotive Breath
Go Ye forth and flaut!