Free Bird

This coming Sunday, Giovanni and his band Infinity² will be performing at K.J. Farrells in Bellmore again. They performed last year as part of Music Emporium’s band program. Last year, Giovanni had been playing for about a year. He’s now two years into guitar and he’s really starting to become comfortable with the instrument. I hear him play and I’m pretty amazed. As a parent, it’s great to see your child love learning a skill like guitar. Hey, I mean I’d be fine if my child wasn’t really accomplishing anything but was able to maintain good friendships and was essentially a happy child. It’s a bonus when you see them learning skills and basically growing. In any case, the last song on their setlist is Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird. Giovanni has some crazy solo work to do in the second half of the song but I’ve seen him practice it many times and as far as my layman ear’s can tell, he has it totally nailed. I can’t wait to see him perform with the rest of his band.

Giovanni is doing well at Chaminade. One of the highlights of my night is when Giovanni comes up and asks me or Lisa to test him on material he’s studying for an upcoming test. We hold his notes and ask him questions and he just goes and gives us a lecture, describing what he knows. He does it like he’s telling us a story, a story he enjoys. Awesome.

Antonio is full-on into PC gaming and he has a group of friends he’s on Skype with nightly. A few of them are from out of state, Utah and elsewhere. I screened his calls to make sure they were kids, of course. He makes videos and posts them up to YouTube. He’s active on twitter, promoting his videos, and he’s getting pretty good at Photoshop and Premiere. He watches Adobe tutorials and I’m pretty impressed with the skill set he’s learning. I suppose I shouldn’t be thrilled he’s constantly playing games with his friends, but again he’s happy and he talks to me so it’s all good. And I love how he’s getting really good at those professional-grade tools. I have a feeling those skills will come in very handy in the years ahead.

Marco and Antonio are at the tail end of their regular basketball seasons, but we signed them up for more advanced post-season basketball. We’re hoping they get picked up by one of the travel teams, but I think they need more work. The place we have them at has excellent instructors and I expect them to get a lot better since they never really had this kind of advanced instruction. They love  the sport and put a lot of effort into it. They’re also both heavily into Nike sneakers, too. Many of the kids are, even the ones that don’t play Basketball. It amazes me how Nike created such powerful brands around their footwear. These sneakers are as stylish as they are expensive. They cost $200 or more. It’s a shame they cost so much but make no mistake, they perform. They are made really well and provide superior grip to anything else we’ve tried. I’ve seen it before my very eyes… kids slipping on sub-par floors and the kids with the good shoes have a firm grip on the ground, allowing them to break, turn, and accelerate as fast as their limbs will take them.

Serafina is playing a lot of basketball too. I didn’t sign her up at the more advanced sports center, even though they have programs for 2nd graders. I mean, there is only so much financial burden we can take. However, she’s in C.Y.O. and P.A.L. and ;earning a lot. We will probably sign her up at the sports center this coming summer, though. It will be an excellent thing for her to do. They have camps, too, which is something we may look at.

Serafina is also starting to draw every day. She has her little spot on our kitchen island and she watches Netflix TV shows with her headphones and draws for hours. I started teaching her formally how to draw and she’s loving the time with me. I’m not a great artist, but my mom and Grandfather were and I spent my childhood struggling to become really good. I got so-so, but gave it up for programming computers. I can’t wait to see how Sera develops with her drawing.

Oh, interesting factoid. None of my kids watch TV. I mean the kind with commercials. They are the Netflix generation. Also, none of my kids have any interest in Facebook. Interesting, no?