We could barely afford this house but we bought it anyway, not least because we imagined all the wonderful parties we could host here.
It was at a party, after all, where we met and the music blared and all the promise and mystery of life seemed hidden in the songs, brash and uncompromising, to which we sang along.
Brash and uncompromising; that was us. Drawn together by a love of fun, a reverence for music and just a touch of wildness.
This room would be perfect, we decided. Room for guitars and drums and keyboards to play. And microphones and even a recording system, Rob joked, to capture jams for posterity: what if Collective Soul dropped by one day?
Or White Stripes, I concurred. And we laughed because we both knew it would be our family and friends who would gather here to laugh and make music and that would be enough.
And it was enough. And magic happened here: when a keyboardist for a country music group and an amateur rapper – friends of friends –– collaborated and when Rob’s long defunct punk band reunited to rehearse the songs they would perform at our wedding.
And then Graham was born and our life expanded. And we sang to him and danced with him and perched him on our knee at the keyboards and behind the drums.
But it happened that his toys got bigger and bigger and our toys sat unused for days and weeks and months even. And it hardly seemed fair that our past should be allowed to crowd out his present.
And so for the past week, mostly as Graham and I slept, Rob has worked down here, not disposing of the past, but prioritizing it, rearranging it, moving it to the sidelines and making way for our son’s future.
It seems to me that a boy truly becomes a man, and a girl a woman, when they finally focus their full attention on childish things and in doing so, give the next generation its own space to play and laugh and explore their passion.