My closest friends understand how passionate I am about my craft. I have to tell you that no matter how hard I try to better myself in project, employment, career… it pales in comparison to what I have at home, my son Bill and daughter Katie. If I met my fate tomorrow, I would leave this world knowing that I have left a young man and teenage girl that are talented, happy, unselfish, loving, honest, and hard-working.
My son amazes me every time he picks up a guitar, microphone, or mixes his own music on his PC. He's starting at IUPUI, taking on a Physics degree and he may minor in any number of areas, including French, Acoustical Engineering, or Political Science. You'll need to listen to some of his music on his site to hear his talent, but I think you'll agree.
Each weekend or so, the kids spend cherished time with their Mom. Though we've been divorced for over 5 years, it's a good relationship that we all have and each of us holds the other in high regard. The kids never have to hear us battle, since our entire goal is for them to be happy and do whatever we can to make it so.
One example, I ordered some graduation cards for Bill to raise some money for him for college. He needs a car and will need some money for books, I think he'll be okay on tuition but it may take a loan still. We'll see. Anyways, his Mom sent all the announcements out to her family and friends and my family and friends. That's pretty cool. (To any parents getting divorced or that are divorced… it's ABOUT THE KIDS!)
We spend the 45 minute drive singing our brains out. People driving by must think we're crazy and the rare guest on the drive usually jumps right in the show with us. Our favorite is Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf… but we listen and sing to everything. There are a couple 70s and 80s stations on the way so nothing is off limits.
And when we sing, we put everything into it… the more theatrics and ear-piercing wails, the better. (We do interrupt the singing once in a while for my favorite game, “Guess that roadkill”). By the time we get to Exit 50B, we're usually out of breath, out of voice, and laughing like crazy.
A couple months ago, my daughter took part in an Indiana singing contest in Bloomington. It was almost a catastrophe – the first key landed and Katie forgot the entire song. She cried, composed herself, and started singing again. I didn't help her – I knew she had to pull herself back (but boy did we hug after she was done). Katie wound up doing a beautiful job and landed the Gold.
Tonight was the Spring Concert at Greenwood Middle School for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs. Katie had a solo, “Portrait in Blue” and has been singing it for a month around the house. I gave her one tiny piece of advise before she went on tonight – find a spot and stare at it. There was a couple hundred parents and students at the concert tonight so I knew she'd be nervous. Before she went on, she told me that she was singing the song for me.
I've been thinking about Katie all day today and how well she would do. And boy, did she! Her solo bellowed in the gym and peoples' heads turned. I don't have a very good video camera but I did pull out my PDA camera phone and recorded the event. I apologize for how terrible the quality is and the sound isn't very loud, but you can sure hear Katie singing the blues.
I would be lying if I said that I didn't have tears in my eyes. I can't express in words how incredible it was. People around me turned and said, “Is that your daughter? She was fantastic!”. One look at Katie and I could see how happy she was. My kids are my greatest masterpieces.
Nothing will ever come close.