Day 75 of walking

Nico saved his money to buy a harmonica. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking what 10 year old boy saves up for a harmonica?! Mine, because as I’ve mentioned before, we are a family of geeks. He became fixated on the idea of owning one (the metal kind that comes in a case, mom!) after reading the book, Echo. At first I didn’t take him seriously. Then I told him we would buy one, but kept forgetting to do so. Finally he told his teacher that he was going to get a metal harmonica that comes in a case eventually, but so far his “purchase had been delayed 9 times for adult reasons.” (Adult reasons = errands, family parties, and decathlon in case you were worried we were geeks who liked to party.) She finally pulled me aside and said, “Can you buy him the damn harmonica so maybe he’ll stop talking about it?”

That was an amateur move on her part because now Nico is the proud owner of a metal harmonica that comes in a case and he brought it to school today. Ten minutes into class this morning his teacher said he could play it all he wanted…outside. So he did. I could hear that harmonica from across campus–no matter where I was on campus. The 6th grade could hear him playing it while they tried to take a test. The 5th grade asked him if he took lessons and Nico explained that, no, he was just a natural harmonica player. Next he showed his harmonica to his music teacher, and his music teacher in turn introduced Nico to Stevie Wonder. “He’s pretty good,” Nico conceded. During recess I saw him–I swear on a stack of Bibles–playing soccer with his class while playing the harmonica. The harmonica was almost a mouthguard, so do try to imagine the wheezing, tinny, string of notes accompanied by the stomp of sneakered feet. It sounded like Darth Vadar having an asthma attack during puberty.

“Only Nico,” said our groundskeeper as Nico ran/wheezed by. “That’s your son.”

I laughed. “He sure is.”

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  1. That made my day. He sounds like Homer Price. I love that you are bavk to blogging.

    I think I sent this without actually reading it, or fixing the typos. This is slightly less horrible.

  2. Hi Jules! I’m a longtime reader and seldom commenter who happened to be thinking of you today. I’m so glad to find you writing and posting again, and after reading your post I had to write this. About a week ago, I heard the squeaks and squawks of a harmonica coming from my son’s room (he was given a Deluxe set from my uncle for Christmas a few years ago). Echo must be a very inspiring book for a certain type of 10 year old boy. I’ll say the “interesting/smart” type. My son, also 10, taught himself Auld Lang Syne (I think it’s at the back of the book?). No joke. I have a video I shot after his 20 minutes of practice and I can hear myself praising him like he just won a Nobel Prize. Why do I do that?! Ugh. Afterward, he asked me to remind him to practice his harmonica during the week. You know, along with the other reminding I get to do. I picked up “How to Play the Harmonica” from the library over the weekend. I can’t believe I’m promoting this! Eh, he’s no Stevie Wonder, but he’s not that bad and he hasn’t smuggled the harmonica to school (yet). It’s geeky, but so cool that they try these things. I wish I could have that focus (fixation?) or be half as interesting as our 10 year old boys!

  3. Long time reader, first time commenter because this made me laugh so hard. Just wonderful. Thanks so much – I really needed it!

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