We are a music loving family. The local classical station is always on, and my sons play clarinet, keyboard, guitar, and ukulele. It’s no wonder we can’t keep Buckle and Pat away from the instruments in the house. They started with the plastic recorder in the toy room. That hurt my ears, so they moved onto the set of bongos. That worked out fairly well, as they could each sit on one drum and bounce. They were envious of the boys, though, and it wasn’t long before Pat and Buckle had appropriated their instruments, and were practicing just as hard as my sons.
They talk of putting a band together. Pat can play both rhythm and lead guitar, and ukulele solos whenever they come up. Buckle is augmenting his clarinet with some light saxophone. (It has to be light or else he can’t lift it.) They advertised for a bass player. Some fellow named Roger called, but his vision for an album didn’t quite mesh with theirs.
If you’re interested in jamming, stop on over. We still need a drummer.
Whenever my youngest is gone, whether to a buddy’s house for a sleepover, or a weekend at Grandma’s, I frequently find Pat or Buckle rummaging around in her room. I’ve caught them in the Barbie car, playing hide and seek in the cupboards of the play kitchen, and taking naps on her Princess blanket. They are just fascinated by her things.
Buckle found her Princess camera the other day, and undertook a new hobby.
He did some online reading about rock photography, while munching a snack.
I could have taught him a thing or two – I do have some experience in the field myself. Well, if not in the field, at least on my dining room table.
Pat was eager to help Buckle practice. She is the perfect subject for Buckle to try out his new camera. She can sit still for hours at a time.
Fashion photography didn’t go much better.
Once Buckle sets his mind on something, though, he is as unmovable as a granite mountain. We did some more online searching for famous photographers he could learn from. I steered him away from the Mapplethorpe, and directed him toward Annie Leibovitz and Anne Geddes. His coffee table book should be ready for publishing soon.
While Buckle is perfectly content to share his life with just Pat and the family, Pat has some other interests.
Pat loves geology, and spends a great deal of time learning more about the rock culture she comes from. She is particularly fascinated by the Great Lakes, which gave her birth, after all. She likes to take trips back to Lake Ontario when she can, and she has some requests for this summer’s camping trips. When we head back to the lake, Pat will be sitting on the dashboard, eager for that first glimpse of shimmering blue on the horizon.
Pat also loves animals. She enjoys snuggling with my dog, playing with the cats, and chatting with our gecko, Link. Sometimes they gather up some friends and have a party. The Napkin Crocodile, and a pony or two will stop over to play dominoes or Cards Against Humanity. It can get rather boisterous.
When she inquired about my dog, Biscuit, I told her that Biscuit had been adopted from a shelter. That set her thinking. There must be so many rocks in need of a home. She was grateful to have a family, but what about the thousands – perhaps millions – of rocks that didn’t? Pat determined to find a rock in need, and make it her own.
It didn’t take long for her to find him. He clearly needed looking after, and Pat’s heart melted when she saw him. She named him “Rocky” (not much of an imagination has Pat) and made him a little leash and collar.
She even put a bell on the collar in case he runs away. Pat is dedicated to caring for Rocky. As soon as she hears his familiar, “boof! boof!” she goes running to check on him.
Buckle shakes his head; he is not a pet lover. He thinks it’s very silly how Pat fusses – it’s a rock, for crying out loud! But I have noticed it doesn’t stop him from taking the leash when Pat needs a break.
I am also pretty sure I heard Buckle singing one of his little songs to Rocky just this morning.
Buckle found a new confidence, with Pat depending on him. Someone was looking up to him now. And as it sometimes does, this burgeoning sense of importance had some negative side effects.
He started weightlifting. He worked his way up to being able to press a Q-tip. I approve heartily of fitness, but since his focus was on Pat’s reaction, rather than personal improvement, he was careless. Pat rushed to tell me that while working out, Buckle got himself stuck in the medicine cabinet, and needed rescuing.
And risky behavior? Never mind eyeball stands, that was tame. Now I was finding Buckle in precarious and frightening situations. He climbed to the top of the china cabinet with a rubber band, intending to bungee jump. He built a sailboard out of a popsicle stick and a napkin. I retrieved him from the bottom of the bathtub and dried him off. Then he tried parkour, and my bookshelves and hardwood floors took a pounding from his landings. All of it was just showing off to Pat.
I wasn’t sure how to get through to my reckless rock. My warnings went unheeded – it was like he had no ears. It was only when Pat tried a risky stunt of her own that Buckle realized how his foolishness had placed her in danger.
Buckle was very upset. He was even more upset when he found out the pop culture reference, and what it meant. He vowed to be a better example to his beloved Pat. They realize now that the greatest adventure is life itself.
Well, that and extreme hardcore subterranean deep basement exploration. I really should go check on their progress; haven’t heard a sound from them in a while.