The dad is downstairs in his self-appointed salt mine, pounding plastic keys with arthritic fingers, trying to make stories about scientific research, trying to wrap his damaged brain around the carbon cycle and soil organic matter and, oh yes … what if those microbes are putting more methane into the air than carbon dioxide? What then?
Upstairs the son is lying on his black gym mat, between virtual classroom sessions, obviously enjoying a Widespread Panic concert from Red Rocks (2011) playing on the TV. Obvious because every minute or so I hear him making happy sounds, singing or talking. Joe is considered nonverbal, but he does vocalize, and he does it with intention.
There is a long story about Joe and his love of music and how he inspired my love of music, and maybe there will be time to tale that epic tale one day. Maybe. But it’s going to take some work on my part and his, because such a story needs to be a road story. As in, Joe and I really need to hit the road one day and go on a festival or concert tour.
It’ll take extra work because Joe doesn’t travel easily. He has lots of equipment and assorted necessary accessories that travel with him. He has lots of needs. But who doesn’t? Meeting Joe’s multiple and sundry needs would require a great effort on his part and mine to make everything move smoothly between Point A to Point Wherever.
When the music is near and the sound is right, Joe will party like this all night.
Anyway, that is the unplanned plan, the big kahuna on the bucket list. Extended road trip with Joe to soak up sonic goodness from sea to shining sea, or thereabouts. That’s the dream. Plenty of hoops to erect and knock down or go through before we get to that point. And of course, Mama Jane would have to be included. That is a must, for both Joe and I. This doesn’t have to be just a father-son story. It should be a family story … as told by a father and son.
If the geographical journey takes shape, rest assured you’ll read about it. Even if it is just a spiritual journey taken on the magic carpet of modern technology in the home, you might read about it. Who can tell? We write about what inspires us.
My son and his joyful soul-grasp of music is a gigantic part of what inspired me to go ahead and write the book about Col. Bruce. The physical challenges that keep him close to home much of the time also keep me close to home, so I wasn’t able to run off with the circus very often to see Bruce in his natural habitat.
In some ways, that made writing the book a little tougher than it might have been otherwise. In other ways, that helped make writing the book a total joy because I could focus on Bruce and his life, and spend time with Joe. That’s called a win-win.
But, back to the working dad and the son upstairs and Widespread Panic.
After hearing several of his happy sounds, elicited with gusto and loud enough to be heard over the music and the sound of the wheels turning inside my broken head, I had to rush upstairs to see my boy. The picture that you see here is what I found.
Dude was singing along with JB, and doing a damn fine job of it. More than that, he was enjoying the song and the moment with confident abandon and it reminded me once again that I would so love to feel the music the way he does. It’s one of my son’s super powers.