I am a practicing student of the guitar.

The fascination began at age 4 for no known reason. I simply cannot remember a time in my life when I did not want to own one or learn how to be the one to make those six strings sing notes from my soul words could not express. So, at 16, I couldn’t wait any longer. I took $200 of my own money and went to a music store near my home. That day, I went home with a guitar and never looked back.

Twenty-three years later, I’m still learning. I’m still just as fascinated as the first day I took home that black beauty and strummed for hours on strings that were not tuned. Over the years, I’ve learned how to tune it, set it up, play songs from my idols and write songs of my own. I cannot put a number — though, I’m sure there is a mathematics wiz out there who could — on the hours I spent and still spend practicing.

I’ve played on stages in front of crowds of a few dozen to several hundred. But, nothing gave me the excitement I received the first time one of our Little Men walked up to play with me while I practiced at home. My old brain long since let go of which one came up first, but, I do remember the love began with them in diapers.

To this day, they run by “Daddy’s Office” at home and come in to strum a few chords, sing me a song or play the theme song for their favorite show playing in the front family room. To be honest, we’re nowhere near correct on any of it, but it sounds right to them. And, to me, that’s the best.

They each have their own signature series Buzz Lightyear guitars. We’ve played everything from the ABC’s to the “Sesame Street” and “Special Agent Oso” themes, made up songs to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” We’ve rocked through open jams time and again, though I still can’t get either one to take the lead.

We haven’t begun the actual process of lessons. Here’s why: My Dad loved woodworking. It was one of the activities he did for fun that produced many beautiful pieces of furniture and ornaments for our homes. And, it helped to shore up or reconstruct parts of our homes. But, I never developed the fascination. I know it disappointed him.

I want our little men to discover their passions on their own. If they choose writing, music or guitar, we will have a lot to talk about and share. If they don’t, then we will share the awesomeness of whatever captures their imaginations and lets them share a part of them words cannot express.

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