There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.
With Christmas a mere eleven days away, I’m challenged to come up with gift ideas for the more difficult-to-shop-for on my list, the tweens & teens. Their interests seem to change every year and we’re talking girls here, ages 10, 15 and 18.
When they were babies, it was always a delight picking out tiny toys for tiny hands and onesies adorned in teddy bears and ribbons. But now they’re older with a wider range of likes, so shopping is more of a guessing game. Surely the teenagers would be delighted with a gift card while the youngest loves a little bit of everything, go figure.
But the other day, while thinking up gift ideas for them to actually unwrap as opposed to it spilling out of a card, it dawned on me that I’ve purchased one particular item for all three of my nieces at different ages. A guitar. While it’s not unusual for kids to take an interest in music, I was taken aback when my oldest niece (she was 10 at the time), told me with all sincerity that she really wanted a guitar. Not a kiddie guitar pre-programmed with noises or even an electronic guitar designed to create sharp-piercing sounds (think Lenny Kravitz or Slash), no, she wanted a serious acoustic guitar despite not being able to play a single note. I was both intrigued and bewildered by her request.
We’re not exactly a musical family, apart from my father, who happens to be a self-taught guitar and keyboard player. The rest of us are more of the air musician variety, although my dad tried (and failed) desperately to force my sister and me into developing a desire to play something, anything really. It just didn’t work. We’re astrologically stubborn that way. So naturally, my nieces argument was that her granddad could teach her how to play. She was quite emphatic about it and with her being my oldest niece, I was kinda in the habit of spoiling her at that point, so a gee-tar shopping I went.
I had researched some options but all were far out of my price range. Then I unexpectedly crossed paths with a high-quality well-crafted wooden acoustic number at a local store. It had a heavy oak and dark wood finish and within my price range, exquizz. While it wasn’t exactly a gibson acoustic guitar at Musician’s Friend, it was certainly nice enough to please a precocious ten-year old. And that it did, she was delighted with her special gift. I don’t think she expected to receive it. There’s always that heartwarming moment when a child opens a gift their heart longs for but they don’t expect to actually receive. I remember that feeling, its thrilling.
As she happily ran her finger’s over the strings and oak exterior, I asked what made her want a guitar so badly, why not say, a Barbie instead? She looked up at me with those big brown happy eyes and said, “Tee Tee, not everyone wants to be Barbie.” And she’s right, though I certainly wanted to be Barbie at that age, not all girls do, some girls would rather be *Wendy instead.
*If you’re an 80s baby, you’re still with me and haven’t missed a beat of this post. But if you feel the need to google Wendy, allow me to save you some time…. 🙂