Tupperware and Mixing Bowls
I can almost remember when I was 11. I actually remember it quite well. At least the Christmas pageant. I was eleven. It was 1979 and I attended what I call, Florence Henderson Elementary School. Now I know that it is really not the name of the school, but it sure sounds a lot like it. may even research it before I am done writing this.
Any way, at the school I attended, they were to have a grand Christmas Pageant with all the bells and whistles. All the characters from Christmas you may remember: The Grinch, a personal favorite of mine, Rudolph, the elves, snowmen and, of course, Santa Claus himself.
Songs were to be sung and dance routines danced. Neither of which could do.. and still can’t for that matter. But there was a part that needing playing and I wanted it badly. It was a most special part that had my name written all over it. The part: The Little Drummer Boy.
Now know this, I have listened to music since before I was born. Yes, my mother and father always had music playing in the house. There are pictures of my at the age of three sprawled out in the Lazy-boy with gigantic headphones listening to, probably, some Simon & Garfunkel or maybe James Taylor. I can’t recall, but it had to be good. What a smile I was wearing that day.
I have always been fascinated with the drums, and fire.. that’s another story.. so I just knew that the part was for me. had my heart set on being The Little Drummer Boy. One catch though. There was to be an audition. Anyone who wished to play the part was to show up at school a hour early on the day audition were to be. think I was there much earlier than that.
Three kids showed up that day and I just knew the part was mine. I had it in the bag. Dreams do come true. I sat quietly and listened to the teacher bark out orders. Each kid was to play a short series of drum strokes on this little red drum. I later on in life figured out what it was were to play. It was a drum rudiment called a paradiddle.
The other two kids got up and played. They did darn good at; so the teacher said. It was now my turn to play and once I had that little drum n my lap and those huge sticks in my hand, I was ready to go. One problem after another plagued me as I tried and tried to hit the drum in the correct pattern. R L RR L R LL R. I could not do it. I even broke a stick when I got so frustrated I threw it across the room. Needless to say, I did not get the part of The Little Drummer Boy. I was devastated.
After I got home and my mom comforted me a little see told me something that sticks with me to this day. She told me, “Mykk, if God wanted you to just play a little drum he would of given you the part.” I had no idea what she meant. She went on to explain.
“So, you didn’t get that part, right” and she then said, “God is telling you that nothing in life comes that easy. If you want something badly enough you must work for it. You must learn all you can and then learn some more. Nothing will ever just be handed to you. Do you understand what I am telling you, Mykk?”
I think that later she would regret telling me that because immediately after she told me I asked her to buy me some smaller drum sticks so I could ‘play around’ with them and see what would happen. I remember saying to her something about if I didn’t have sticks how could I get better. She smiled and that was the end of that.
Christmas morning came and low and behold, a brand new pair of wooden drum sticks wrapped up in ribbon and a bow. I think to this day and don’t remember a better Christmas present. It was a work of God, thought. He had sent Santa to my house. I was the only kid in the world that morning to receive drum sticks. He spoke and it was now my turn to listen and oh boy, did I.
To end this story, the story of how I got started with drums and drumming.
My mom came home from work a few afternoons later and found me kneeling on the kitchen floor. I had taken every one of her Tupperware bowls and everyone of her metal mixing bowls from the cupboard and had them set up n such a way that resembled a very large and monstrous drum set. Neil Peart would of been envious. Those lids had so many cracks in them and the bowls were badly dented and my mother had never been so mad at me for the destruction of her new Tupperware. I told her not to get mad at me; that it wasn’t my fault. That it was Gods fault.
She was screaming ever-so loudly now and just stopped in mid-sentenced and said, “Gods fault. How in the world is this Gods fault?” just looked at my mom and smiled. A moment of silence fell over the room as I thought cautiously of what to say. I opened my mouth and said to my mother, “God brought me those sticks for Christmas and if he didn’t want me to play, practice and get better, he would not of brought me the sticks.”
My mom walked away shaking her head and laughing.