We are fortunate to have a brother-in-law whose family has a house in Mexico. The last time we visited was 4 years ago. Toward the end of that vacation, Steve was experiencing drumming withdrawal so that evening we went in search of a band with the idea that he would be asked to sit in. It took awhile to find a band with an actual drum kit (we found steel drums, solo guitarists, d.j.s, percussionists, etc…) but around midnight, we finally did.
It was a 3 piece very-young-player combo. When they took a break, Steve went up to them and tried (he doesn’t speak Spanish) to have a conversation. They spoke a little English. There was a lot of charade-type of movements involved, but they communicated. When they started up their next set, they called up Steve. And they were blown away…not only was Steve able to handily play tunes he had never heard, but man, was he GREAT. These boys were teen-agers just beginning their musical path; they had never played with someone so far into that journey.
The next day, Steve went to their home (two of the band members, Juan and Antonio, were brothers) to share a meal and to give Juan a drum lesson. So began a remarkable student/teacher (they call him a master) relationship. Every time my sister and her husband journey to the house in Mexico, Steve sends drum heads, stick, etc…. Juan and Steve also continued to stay in touch with periodic emails over the last 4 years.
Fast forward present day.
A part of this vacation of course was to see Juan and for Steve to have a chance to play with him. As it happened, Juan was now in a rock band, and this band had a gig Thursday night. At midnight: it was an after hours club. Ugh.
When asked, I dutifully replied, “Yes, honey, of course I’ll go. I may want to nap after dinner, though, instead of playing cards.” (Ten years ago, who could even think that I could say such a thing??). Did anyone else want to go? To a man: that is just too late!
The band was great. They mostly played pop Mexican hits, but also threw in some classic rock (i.e. Hotel California). Steve sat in: Juan glowed to watch him, the crowd loved him (including me), and Steve had an absolute blast.
Well, they ended up playing at the after-hours club Friday and Saturday night. My brother-in-law went with Steve on Friday night (after-hours two nights in a row is too much for this girl), and had the time of his life. By all accounts, Steve was on fire. Just looking at Lael’s smile convinced the rest of us, including my father, that we needed to get to the gig Sat. night.
And we did. And it was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime evening. The place was jammed. When Steve was done, people thronged around him. Young men brought their phones up and wanted pictures taken with him. The members of the band were giddy. Those in the audience who love him were given one more piece of evidence that Steve is the best drummer in the world.
It was 2:00 in the morning and none of us felt tired (or old). We were energized, and so very happy that we pushed ourselves to venture out even though it was so late. Steve has brought all sorts of wonderful things to me and mine….getting to watch him play music is just one of his gifts to us. Even better than that is his optimistic outlook and energy (“This will be great!”). This has positively affected every one of us. Me mostly, though.
I’ve said it before: I’m a lucky woman.
It’s a good time of the year to be looking at our partner’s gifts. What has your spouse brought to your life? How much fuller is it just because of their existence?
Figure that out. Write it down. Tell each other. Often.
This concludes another view from my married life.