Saturday, May 24, 2008

I can never guess the next obsession

Sometimes, Skip is an enigma.

An enigma wrapped in a mystery, to quote something that must've been said once, and was trapped forever in my brain.

And then other times, he may as well be wearing a sign that says "this is what I am thinking", because he's so easy to read.

Lately, I've been wondering what his next obsession will be.

He likes getting interested in something, and then CONQUERING it.  It started when he was very young.  I think he must've been around three.  Ken told him that there were other planets, and that most of them had satellites around them that were Just Like Our Moon.  And that was all it took.  Skip became obsessed with the planets.  I knew i was in for a bit of a challenge one morning over breakfast, when he asked me "Mom, what is your favourite moon?" and me, not knowing any better said "Full Moon", only to be met with the foreshadowing-of-teen-years eye rolling as he explained "No, I mean which MOON.  Like... for example, Mars.  Which Mars moon is your favourite?  Phobos or Deimos?" (Ack.  I just realized that I had NO idea what they were called, and had to Google them... and Skip had them in his brain when he was THREE)

Over the years, he's latched onto many topics, and conquered them one by one, insofar as he's been able to get his brain around them.

Last summer, it was Guitar Hero.  Not exatly the Intellectual Pursuit of Champions, but he stuck with it like a terrier with a rat until he had five gold stars on every song.

Nothing's really captured his fancy lately (the four re-readings of Orson Scott Card's Ender series over the last month notwithstanding), so I was starting to be on the lookout for topics to toss his way, to see if anything stuck to him like velcro.

Then this weekend hit.

First, it was Friday evening's Weapons Seminar at Kung Fu.

Skip and weapons, Skip and weapons...

Go together like a horse and carriage...

Could this be the new obsession?  Since the seminar, I've caught him going over the techniques in idle moments, even without weapons in his hands.

Also, this weekend is Kubla Con.  It's something that Ken and Skip do together every year.  I don't know that I'd call it an obsession, but Skip sure enjoys it.  This year, he's decided that he's going to spend as much time as possible at the Con just painting miniatures (joy!  More clutter!).

So with Ken and Skip away all day, I had the littles.  We went to Kung Fu, then out for breakfast, then off to church to set up for Sunday (they were great helpers), and then off for lunch.  The afternoon and evening were spent at a great barbecue party hosted by one of the Disneyland Chaperones.  All the chaperones were there, AND the two band teachers.  Most of them brought their families, but I was playing the role of single mom.  It wasn't tough, though, because the kids were well taken care of by all the other kids (and some nice responsible high-schoolers), so it was just like I was out on my own, having fun with other grown ups. 

We ate and ate and ate, and while we were eating and chatting, one of the dads had put together a slide show of all the photos taken on the tour, and they ran on the big-screen TV in the background.  A couple of the dads had gone to Disney with EXCELLENT cameras, and now I have major DSLR camera lust.  The photos were amazing.  Truly amazing.  I got to introduce Kelly and Nate to the two band teachers, who were very encouraging and warm, and made the kids WANT to pursue music, so they could have those teachers when it was THEIR turn to go to Middle School, and play in the band that got to go to Disneyland.  While we were chatting, it happened to come up in conversation that Ken plays the Chapman Stick.

(ahem.  No, this is NOT Ken)


Here's a wee video. (this is also not Ken)

Anyways, it's the sort of thing that, if Skip learned it, would be an EXCELLENT (there's the CAPS LOCK again.  I'm in a rut) addition to the Jazz Band.

After the BBQ party, we met up with Ken and Skip at our favourite sushi place on the way home (they'd had enough of KublaCon for one day), and while we were noshing (yay!  That makes two suppers on my plate tonight.  I can just see the weight cascading off of me!) I mentioned to Ken and Skip that I thought playing the stick would be a great Jazz addition. 

Ken agreed, and said that most good Stick players didn't start playing stick until they were in their 20s or 30s, and if Skip started at 13, and applied himself the same way he'd applied himself to Guitar Hero last summer, he'd easily be in demand and recordable in only a few years.

Skip got a far-away look in his eyes as he repeated "...recordable...?"

Oddly, I never thought of Skip as wanting the limelight, but he really seemed to catch a fire at the thought of being an in-demand musician on an obscure instrument. And it was as if I could see the gears churning inside his head.

We'd barely got home, and he went to work.

 First, Ken gave a little demonstration.



And then Skip picked it up while Ken showed him the instruction manual.


Looks like it's only a matter of time...



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