When we moved to California my daughter inherited the spare room next to her new bedroom. She was in fourth grade, and it became her playroom. The walls were quickly covered with her drawings; fashion designs she’d come up with and fantasy characters for stories she was working on. There were dollhouses and Barbies, Beanie Babies and Polly Pockets. The whole room was full of old art supplies and tons of projects (if Crayola made it, we owned it) and everything else that she just couldn’t stand to part with. Including her two smelly guinea pigs.
In the middle of sixth grade she got a sewing machine for Christmas. The fantasy art in the playroom came down, the Beanie Babies went to a younger neighbor girl and the room previously known as “the playroom” became “the sewing room.” (God Mom, “playroom” sounds so babyish).
Project Runway was a constant favorite at our house during that time and fashion design ruled. Out went the stuffed animals and Barbies (unless they were sporting home-made, original duct tape fashions) and in went the life-sized mannequin, piles of fabric and a sewing table. For awhile you couldn’t walk barefoot in there without taking a pin or a needle inch deep in the foot.
And we lost the guinea pigs. As in, to a sudden illness, not to the clutter. The spare room was growing up, just like my daughter.
She’s almost a freshman now and right on schedule, the spare room has undergone another transformation. In the last few weeks it has become “the music room.” And by that I don’t mean a room where we sit quietly after dinner and play music, I mean a room where music is made. Where ROCK is king.
My daughter is now in a band. Her and four other girls have been meeting here and practicing, for hours, ever since Christmas. They’re called Intrepid Resentment, and I think I’m a groupie.
I have to admit that the first time she asked if she could have band practice upstairs, I wasn’t too excited. I’m not usually good with chaos. Especially when it’s loud. But I didn’t feel right telling her no just because it would be annoying. So I gave them a shot.
And I’m glad I did. Yes, they’re loud and out of tune and they don’t really know what they’re doing yet, but there’s something so, I don’t know, so fourteen about the whole thing that I just can’t help but smile. They show up every Saturday around 11 am and hang out upstairs. They wail on the keyboards, drums and guitars for awhile, then wander down and politely ask for a snack. (Don’t tell anyone, it wouldn’t do much for their angry, punk image).
They love Green Day, Evanescence, Bowling for Soup and the Smashing Pumpkins. And I love them. Not just because my husband and I get to call them awesome things like, “Intolerable Resistance” and “Insipid Reluctance” (which is beyond fun), but because all of the discordant “music” that fills the house on Rock Saturday is accented by so much laughter. I truly, absolutely and completely unexpectedly look forward to the band showing up on the weekend.
And so, after almost 40 years, I’m finally fulfilling my dream of running with a band. Funny how life works out. Anyway, duty calls. It’s almost lunch time and I think there’s a sack of sandwiches at Subway with Intrepid Resentment stamped on the side.