He has no idea what he’s doing, mind you.
But he carries it across the living room with all the coordination he can muster. He pulls it up onto his lap. Placing a hand underneath of the neck and another over the body, he makes up words and he plays the house a song. This is an everyday occurrence around here. And one that I love.
My dad plays guitar, and when I was growing up I used to love whenever he would take it out and sing. He even wrote a song once about me and my brothers when we were small and I can still remember sitting cross-legged on the floor once while he played it for me, singing out the lyrics written on a page I held in my hand. On my wedding day, before my dad and I danced beside Spencer and Mary to a father-daughter song the DJ played, my dad sat in a chair across from my husband and I on the dance floor with that old guitar strung across his knees, and he sang a song called “I loved her first.”
Spencer and I both played for a little bit -- him longer than I, but between the two of us we have like four guitars lying around the house, hard at work collecting dust now. I never really tried to teach myself specific songs, but I took lessons for a while in high school, and I used to love the feeling of getting an exercise down, playing it faster and faster, and letting my fingers get hard on the end the better I got. I learned the chords and I learned how to read simple music, and I learned to love the guitar from a whole new angle. Then I met Spencer, and even better than playing it myself, was falling in love with him over an electric blue guitar he used to play when we hung out.
When our little boy decided on his own one day to drag this old acoustic dinosaur out of the storage room, and start howling out a tune about the kind of things only a four-year-old would sing about, we were both a little love-struck. We’ve been keeping it upstairs ever since, right in the living room where he can play it everyday if he wants to. And everyday he has. I’m not sure he’s learning anything worthwhile when he does it, or if it’ll lead to any future pursuit of music, but what I do know is that every time he pulls that thing up onto his lap and sings to me about non-sense crap like racecars and things he doesn’t understand about love from other songs he’s heard on the radio, I fall a little more in love with the guitar.
And of course, the man of my heart behind it.