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East County Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2009 12 years ago

Best Father's Day gift: a Mini-Me

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

OK, just to be clear: I did not teach my son to make that face.

As a matter of fact, Lyric only has seen me play drums live once. And even then, I don’t think he was paying much attention.

Moreover, the first time I stuck a drumstick in his hand, he knew immediately what to do. I placed a snare drum on the floor; he crawled over and went to town — with perfect hand technique to boot.

These days, just like his dad, he could spend hours at the drum kit, shedding wood against drumheads, cymbals and steel rims. It’s one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen, and — in stark contrast to what our poor neighbors must think — one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard.

When my wife and I found out we were having a boy, we both panicked. Throughout our relationship, we assumed our first child would be a girl. We were sure of it. So when we learned the contrary, our first thought was, “What are we going to do with a boy?”

I’m not exactly a guy’s guy. I know nothing about sports. I get squeamish baiting a hook. I shriek at the sight of a cockroach. And if my car breaks down and it’s not out of gas, I’m stranded.

So, what was I going to do with a boy?

Thirteen months later, I now know I had nothing to worry about. Just as I inherited my love for all things percussion from my dad, it seems Lyric also is a drummer at heart.

Currently, there are drumsticks in every room in the house and even one in the car that he refused to relinquish last week. When I change a drumhead, he takes the old one and — with a smile as wide as the ocean — holds it in one hand while he bashes it with the other. Baby Einstein and Elmo hold his attention for just a few seconds, but he’ll watch the Modern Drummer Festival DVDs all day long. And, if you visit my blog at, you’ll see a photo of the two of us sitting at one of my kits. What you don’t see is that after that photo was taken and we removed him from the drums, he threw the biggest fit of his life.

Watching Lyric find such joy in a craft I’ve adored all my life truly is the greatest Father’s Day gift I could imagine. It’s a bond I hope we share for years to come — and maybe one he someday will enjoy with his own son.

So, to all fathers reading this: Enjoy your day. Play your favorite sport. Go fishing. Work on your car. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. But don’t forget that you’re celebrating Father’s Day — first and foremost — because you’re a father.

And that is the greatest gift of all.

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