a boy’s first guitar!

I’ve shared the news with some already but I’m still very excited and jealous of my 13 year old nephew, Shawn’s, first electric guitar.

My nephew, Shawn and I are pretty close. I love all my nephews (there *are* 7 of ’em, two nieces also!) It is similar to the closeness I had with his older brother, Andrew, who was born when I was in high school and for the first 4 years of his life, was more of a little brother to me than nephew since he lived with us at my parents’ house. That same situation is also the environment that Shawn and I had from 1999 or so until I moved to Arlington in 2002. I remember the night he found out I was moving, I hadn’t had a chance to break it to him and my Mom accidentally spilled the news over dinner one night. Shawn was devastated and it took a good year or so after I moved for him to understand that even though I wasn’t going to be around every night and especially for “family game night” that he tried many times to start up, I would still visit and hang out and do cool things with him, his brother, and his cousins. In a sort of strange way, he and I have grown a little closer in the last year, because Shawn is the nephew who was with me in my car last year when we were in the car accident. Definitely not an event I ever care to share with any of the kids in my life ever again, and I hoped something like it would never happen. I think the accident was more traumatic since he was in the car with me. Fortunately, we’ve mostly put the whole debacle behind us, but it ain’t easy!

We’re a musical family to start with, having the benefit of a piano, drums and whatever else we had in our living room growing up. Somehow, it’s been me who’s passed along this passion for music to some of the next generation. Andrew was 4.5 years old, Shawn, 4 months and their cousin, Josh, 2 months old when I first exposed them to live bands, with my 21st birthday party in the backyard of the house, when Noise Museum performed. I’ve since taken them to see some of my friends’ bands perform at all ages shows, throughout the years, but not nearly as many as I’d like to take them since I’m not exactly nearby.

When I called home this evening to check in and say hello, Shawn answered the phone. Usually, he and I exchange the typical banter of hellos and how are you doings, and I’ll ask about school, bowling (he kicks ass at bowling), and what’s new, etc. Normally, I get the “not much” “nothing really” “just playing a video game” sorta stuff, but little did I know that I’d be in for a treat! He asks if I heard his news, which I hadn’t. My sister tends to fill me in, but neither of us are on IM much anymore with our crazy schedules.

He proceeds to tell me that he got an electric guitar. Already I think this is way cool. Who knew that the next thing he would tell me was, that not only did he get an electric guitar but it was a Fender Stratocaster!?! And that he has an amp too! When I asked what kind of amp, he replied, “Fender Princeton 650.” He went on about how there was a deal at the music shop buy one item, get one FREE (the guitar was basically FREE) and how he tried out a few guitars but that this one felt the best (he’s never really played a whole lot) and that he’ll be taking lessons in a few weeks once he finishes up his bowling league.

I think it’s probably the longest conversation I’ve had on the phone with him since I moved to VA and probably one of the coolest. I can’t wait for him to show it to me. I can show him some chords, but he’s a lefty and wants to learn how to play left-handed, and I can’t play guitar right now anyhow, but perhaps I’m going to have to work a bit harder to get back into some rehabilitation for my neck, left arm and hand, because I’ve got some kids to rock out with back home in Jersey!!

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