The Gift of Music · 6 February 2010

I know that Christmas has long passed, but one of the gifts our oldest son, Thing 1, gave me has just kept giving. Sure, it was just a video game, but it has meant much more than just fun for me.

The present was a huge package that did not get to the house until after we had returned home from Christmas with the Miyoshi family. When I opened the large package with our family gathered around, I was speechless.

It might seem odd, but being able to write does not always translate into being able to speak. I was shocked and could barely get out, “Thank you,” when I opened Guitar Hero – World Tour. It was the whole package – drums, guitar, microphone, and of course, game. Two games in fact, World Tour and Guitar Hero 5. Now if one of the younger two had given me the gift, I would have known their mother “helped” with more than just the selection. But since Thing 1 gave it, I knew he had selected and purchased it by himself. I was flabbergasted and just sat there looking at it all for quite some time.

When the shock finally wore off, we put together the guitar and drums. Unfortunately, the drums had a flaw, but we all played the game with a singer and two guitarists. I fixed the drums after a trip to Radio Shack and we have all enjoyed playing individually and together.

Part of the reason that I was speechless after opening my gift from Thing 1 was because I knew its cost. I had thought of getting the same thing for everybody each of the past two years. But when I thought about it and even asked the kids, I realized that I would have just been getting it for myself. Which is the other reason I was shocked receiving my gift – it was perfect.

Thing 1 is a great gift giver. He is both generous and thoughtful. He seems to know exactly what will excite whoever he is giving a gift to. On Christmas day, he moved to be near whichever of his brothers was opening his gift. He wanted to see their excitement and joy as they opened their gifts from him. He also wanted to see their faces as they opened multiple layers to get to the gifts inside, but that is another story. Thing 1 really does have a gift for giving, and that fact really struck me when I opened my gift from him.

The present I got this Christmas was much more than a video game. It was even more than the realization that my son has a talent for giving gifts. One of the best parts of my gift from Thing 1 has been a renewed love of music. I have had an acoustic guitar since I graduated high school almost thirty years ago. I do not play as often as I used to do when I played for church youth groups and such, but since Christmas, I have pulled out my amp and electric guitar several times. Usually, to play (or at least try to play) a song from Guitar Hero. It has been great to get a little playing time in after dinner or on weekends. The sessions on the video game have inspired me to play my real guitar more. An added bonus to my Christmas gift.

I have had lots of fun with my Christmas gift. I am not that far in the game, but I decided to play it at the hard level for bass and guitar, which hopefully, does not bring too much laughter from the younger set. We have also enjoyed the game as a family playing as a band. But perhaps the greatest part of my son’s gift to me has been the gift of music. I have had a great time playing my Guitar Hero guitar and my real guitars.

I am so proud of my little gift giver (even though he is not so little anymore). It has been wonderful receiving a gift that keeps on giving in many different ways.

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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