The City of Phoenix gives out cultural passes at the libraries so uncultured people can go to museums and attractions for free. They are trying to upgrade the average Phoenician’s cultural experience. And it’s working. At least in this house. “If it’s free, it’s for me!” is a famous quote from my sister…. and I borrow it on occasion. When the homeschooling bus hits a bump in the road, we go on field trips. It’s a no-brainer…. get out of the house… pronto! The get out of jail free passes are so handy!
Last Spring, when Spring fever was burning our house down, I gathered passes to the Natural History Museum and the Children’s Museum in Mesa, Arizona. My then-16 year old daughter was NOT interested, so we kidnapped a fellow 12-year-old friend and ventured off for a day of cultural learning. I was quite astounded when my then 13 and 11-year-old sons believed me when I told them that they were to assemble ALL of the mammoth sized wooden floor puzzles of dinosaurs in the museum. They did it. And I didn’t laugh out loud once. Then they panned for fake gold for 45 minutes in the hot sun. If wonders never cease. They were probably thinking that if they didn’t use up their time, I would drive them back home to their math books.
We exited the Natural History Museum and discovered a gigantic music shop across the parking lot. It was enormous and contained every musical instrument known to me… and a few more! Hundreds of horns, drums and guitars in all shapes and colors. The boys wandered in awe claiming which ones they would buy! At one point I heard a banjo call my name. It was just sitting there tempting me like a piece of white chocolate with almonds… I had to touch it and taste its goodness. The store was pretty noisy, so I figured I could get away with a bit of pickin’ and grinnin’. I know just enough about stringed instruments to stay in one key…. and then it happened…. my unknown inner-banjo talent played like hot grease on a skillet. I laugh just thinking about it. I picked as fast as I could and all three boys turned to face me in absolute amazement… jaws all hanging slack. “I didn’t know your mom could play the banjo!” our guest spit out. Without taking their eyes off of me and my banjo, both my boys responded, “I didn’t either!” It was priceless. I didn’t know I could play the banjo either. Well, I really can’t. But I am a supreme faker.
My boys are writing a book called “The 100 Funniest Things” and my banjo playing made the list! (Right next to the dog eating a pancake off my son’s head……. don’t ask.)