Oh, it was going to be so lovely. A comfy chaise lounge nestled in a quiet, out-of-the-way corner. A good book, a chenille throw for those delicious, impromptu naps between chapters and a cup of hot tea.
It was to be 'Mommy's special place.'
"It'll be so cozy, Mom," Noah said, hugging himself and imagining how it would feel to curl up there with his own good book.
But then he decided he wanted drums. And in a house as small as ours, 'my corner,' recently liberated from a heap of miscellaneous stuff, was prime real estate.
"Where will they go?" he asked, recently.
"Over there, I guess" I replied, gesturing toward my corner, mere feet from my desk.
"But what about your chaise?" Noah wondered.
"Oh, don't worry," I replied, "and besides, who knows when the drum thing will happen?" I wanted to see if his interest would wane before I invested any money.
His determination hit a fever pitch this week, and by Wednesday morning he was beside himself with worry.
"When can we get them, Mom?"
I told him I needed to check the budget.
"Can you do that today and then we can get them?" he asked, before leaving for school. Noah has always been like a dog with a bone, if something interests him. I know this determination will serve him well in life, but in the meantime, it's a tad frustrating for his mom.
"Not today, not next week," I told him. "Sweetie, we can't just drop $400 on drums. We need to plan for something like that," I explained. We talked about saving up his allowance and the jobs he could do to earn part of the cost.
I almost wished it would snow so he could get down to business.
I hate to stymie a kid's interest in music. It's important on so many levels, and I think that whenever we can, we should capitalize on their curiosity, however fleeting. I have a 'smorgasbord' mentality when it comes to life, childhood in particular, and believe that children should try everything that piques their interest and discover those anchoring activities that can sustain them throughout their lives - before self-consciousness, work, or other limiting realities of life intrude.
But Holly and Noah have each tried instruments before. Holly took piano lessons, Noah played the French horn and they've each tried the guitar. I have two collecting dust in another corner, so my hesitation this time isn't surprising.
Later Wednesday morning, when it occurred to me that perhaps I could just rent a set of drums before committing to a purchase - if Noah's interest sticks - I called Hix Brothers Music in Batavia and learned that 60% of rental fees can be applied toward the purchase of any set. That sealed the deal, for me.
I couldn't wait to see the look on Noah's face when he got home from school.
But first I had to get the darned things out of the car.
I spotted my neighbor, Kurt, as I hoisted the bass drum off the back seat.
"Apologizing in advance!" I waved, hoping we don't aggravate our good neighbors too much.
I set up the drums in the corner, remembering to put the foot pedal and the snare drum in the proper positions, just like Hix employee Doug Thompson taught me.
Noah was floored when he saw them.
"If you knew you were doing this today and pretended you weren't, that was a pretty good acting job, Mom." I had him walk the dog and take out the trash. He was too speechless to object.
He had his first lesson with Hix instructor Justin O'Connell an hour later.
Turns out the new drums are irresistible (and not just because of their pretty, ruby-red color). Daddy and Holly want to learn how to play, and I even took them for a spin.
Rockin' out while everyone runs and hides is kind of fun. Sure beats yelling at the kids.
Video games suddenly have less appeal at our house and Holly's guitar has even gotten some love.
But now she wants a keyboard.
My once quiet corner is anything but, these days. Some say electronic drum sets are the way to go. Just plug in the headphones and peace out.
"They don't have any soul, Mom," Noah said. No argument there.
I may feel differently next month. In fact, I may need to be committed.
What have I done? As I type this, Holly is banging away on the drums, a mere three feet from my desk.
"Goodnight, Chicago!" she cheers, as she smacks the cymbals one last time.
I know I'll get my chaise, someday. For now, though, I have kids and they have drums.
Let the good times roll!
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.