I have not always been a big fan of my husband's guitar playing. Shocking, I know. I actually struggled with it in the beginning years of our relationship. We lived in a teeny tiny apartment. He was a few years into playing when I met him, but Slash, he was not. I used to think he'd turn his amplifier up, just to annoy me (you know because back then, it was only about me ... heh).
What he did do was practice. Playing parts of songs, over and over, caught up in his own world. While I, woman who cannot even drowned out a restaurant conversation that is happening at the next table, listened to every. single. note.
I found no comfort in his playing, if anything I found it annoying. Then he decided to try and add singing along with the guitar playing.
And as God is my witness, I became incredibly embarrassed for him. I have no other way to explain it. I couldn't keep a straight face anytime I heard him singing. I actually wanted to hide my head under a pillow. I thought that my feeling like that was horribly wrong. It's not like he has ever been Idiol gone bad, he actually has always sung decently. It was really me that couldn't get past it. Turning red was my silent tribute to his singing.
I met a girl years ago, that my husband used to play guitar with her boyfriend, and she said the very same thing to me, all on her own one day. And I figured it was normal (course maybe now, it was more like we were both freaks, but hey, work with me here). He continued to practice, sing and play any chance he got and I? Got past the embarrassment of it.
Only took me fourteen years or so. Not bad right? Hey, I never claimed I was perfect. I have a hard time handling many things ... I just hide it well.
The more people my husband plays for, the more feedback I hear about how much they enjoy hearing him play. And as he gets more and more (and years) of practice under his belt, he reaches a comfort level in really letting go and feeling the song he is singing.
For about five years now, he has had a band of one sort or another. Sometimes it was just a drummer and a base player and sometimes it's those two AND another lead guitar but regardless of who he is playing with, one thing is very clear to me ...
He is more dedicated than any of them combined. And if I take the time to look back, at his practice over the years, I can see why. He watches. He takes it all in. He dissects sections of song to learn, he puts in the necessary time to be successful.
Now, I normally avoid Wednesday night band practice like the plague. So what if I pass up an opportunity for a live band performance every Wednesday night. I've got some nice quiet, alone time waiting for me in my bedroom for a good two hours.
Except tonight, I changed it up. Tonight, I went out and I listened and I watched. And instead of passing judgment or being embarrassed or any of that, I took a good long look at the musician my husband has become.
He's earned it. He has become an excellent performer. The whole package. And while I can't say that I plan on sitting through every band practice. I might sit through more of them that I ever used to.
Accepting an important part of someone else, is a huge step and it only took me eighteen years to do it.