They. The infamous they. Don’t you know how they say all kinds of things?
This week, “They” say that your partner enriches your life and that they reveal things to you that you never thought you would do. You spend time invested in their interests, and they spend time in yours, and your hobbies grow and morph, and perhaps become one in the same.
There are two areas where I spend my time now, that I can say with 100% certainty that I did not spend it on 7 years ago. As a result of being in a relationship with a very creative, smart, and driven fellow, I find myself, quite often, in big spacious rooms filled with the noxious odor of fresh rubber and spandex. Or our weekend jaunts are filled with the cacophony of chimes, rhythmical patterns banged out with wooden sticks on metal, strumming wires to create some harmony. I never once imagined that I would spend as much time as I do going to bicycle or music shops.
Now Dylan and I do a pretty good job of dabbling in our own interests. I’d say one of the strengths of our relationship is giving each other the freedom to pursue what we want to pursue. Sometimes, that means doing things on our own. We often joke that I will play video games with Dylan when he comes to yoga with me. We smile to each other, our eyes smirk, and we both know, “never going to happen.” However, I have come to enjoy my time wandering around music shops, even though my last musical pursuit was quitting piano at the age of whenever my parents would finally let me quit. I sang in choir all through high school, but have almost let that part of me go into hibernation. Going back into these stores, and watching my husband’s passion for these amazingly beautiful instruments ignites a different kind of interest in me. This weekend we went to a used instrument store and I so very much wanted to shell out $300 for a used ukelele. It was pink, and delicate, and beautiful, and I thought to myself, hey this could be a new hobby. Let’s not forget that I only know the G cord and the C cord finger placement. Look at me talking that musician talk. I did not buy the instrument.
On our second stop this weekend I was wandering through one of the larger stores and pretended to be looking at books of sheet music as Dylan looked at drum heads. I’m pretty used to the loud rhythms that come at you with a blast when you walk into the drummers room in these stores. What I am not used to is seeing a young child produce those beats. I looked up as I heard a pretty good basic little beat coming from the practice kit. A little boy, probably five or six, with bright red hair and freckles, and a toxic green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sweatshirt was sitting on the drum throne, cranking out his beats to his hearts desire. His dad looked a little embarrassed as he stood in the corner wearing cargo pants and a ragged sweatshirt, watching his son. Maybe he was worried about this little guy bothering the other customers in the store. I wish I could say the dad was standing there beaming with pride, maybe his heart was full, but he quietly moved his son on to the next section of the store. The boy was in no way misbehaving, but instead was polite, and curious, and just needed a little bit of direction.
I went back to pretending to know what I was looking at while Dylan got what he wanted. Within a few minutes the boy was back with his sticks, this time staring fascinated at the set of chimes. Over and over he ran those wooden sticks through the metal rods creating loud and obnoxious renditions of chimes being mangled. To him, though, those instruments brought awe and a sense of purpose and something he could control and create in the moment. I watched this little boy for a good fifteen minutes until Dylan was ready to go, and my heart was warm.
I thought of Dylan being the same age, and having his passions being sparked with such potential. I thought of the beauty of a free space where a little boy could have some free reign and participate in something greater than himself. I thought of the beauty of his father, who was doing the best he could to expose his son to the beauty of a musical instrument. I thought of the unanticipated gifts of participating in the interests of others. Would I have preferred to stay home on Saturday and read my books rather than chase around town to music stores with Dylan? Quite honestly, yes. Think, though, of the gifts I would have missed by not going along for the ride.
I’m going through some interesting transitions right now, and it is easy for me to feel some tough emotions. This weekend I was reminded that while we do have the potential to hurt one another, we also have the amazing lightness of enriching one another simply by observing the precious moments of interest, pursuit, and awe that are all around us.
Dylan, thanks for making me go with you. I’m thankful you continue to go with me too.
Essie Color of the Week: St. Lucia Lilac
Biscotti: None – but I did make these cookies