drummer boy

One day, while we were driving to the store with the Andrews Sisters playing on the radio, I heard this little voice in the backseat sigh, “Mama, I want to rock out.

I’m not sure where he learned that particular phrase, but I understood the sentiment and changed the song.

I guess it’s part of the side effects of buying your children prophetic sweatshirts.

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We’re playing trains this morning when Ephraim finds the arms of a plastic railroad crossing. Immediately the trains are forgotten. “Can I get my drums??” He says. “You wanna get my drums out, Mama?”

His “drums” is a set consisting of two toy drums, one real drum, and a Lincoln Log canister, which has to be emptied of its contents before being converted into an instrument. In the line up, it becomes a cymbal.

He arranges them all in their appropriate spots, then asks to listen to music: Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

“NOT Peter and the Wolf!” He insists.

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It’s an odd choice, maybe, for someone can’t rock out to the Andrews Sisters, but once the music starts, he throws himself into playing with every inch of his being.

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He pauses during the parts played by strings and woodwinds. His heart is all brass and percussion.

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“That’s a clarinet, ” he says.

“That’s an oboe,” I correct him.

That’s a bassoon,” he says a moment later. He’s right.

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The fugue starts, and he’s engrossed in it; he follows the rhythm of the main theme as it’s carried by the horns and adds his own flourishes of drum rolls here and there. The grand finale is a flurry of drumbeats, and after the music ends, he grins. “I’m playing the drums, Mama!”ephraim drums-5

drummer boy

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