Bruce Sallan: My 16-year-old son has been a rock 'n' roller since sixth grade, when I bought him a cheap electric guitar at Costco as a graduation present. He loved it, was good and I enrolled him in a local rock school. He flourished, as he'd finally found his passion.
I had always hoped it would be in sports, like my passions for skiing and tennis. But while your kids may have your DNA, they don't necessarily share your interests -- and one of the first lessons of being a good parent is to recognize that. Took me a while.
Anyway, as he grew into a teen, his passion for every new band he discovered grew. We went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton (can you believe he just turned 65?!) and Green Day, and last year we went to the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, where he connected with his current girlfriend and was in music heaven for 48 hours.
With the teen years, however, come hormones, moods and the alien takeover. He'd gotten angry, combative and argumentative -- in other words, he'd become a full-blown normal teen. A broken arm only enhanced these lovely traits when he could no longer beat on the drums (his new and second-favorite instrument) or turn up the amp on his guitar to blistering levels.
However, he could sing (or should I say rap) -- which he did, with unbridled fervor and passion, at a recent Rage Against the Machine tribute concert. With broken arm by his side (mostly healed) and a cold brewing in his system, my son displayed an outlet for his anger and passion that blew not only me but also everyone in the audience away.
Most teens let their anger out via pranks (the boys), horrible gossip and outrageous dress (the girls), drinking and drugs -- with foolish and often destructive results. For my son, it came out in this fashion: through screaming obscenities, physical exertion on a level that would exhaust this middle-aged dad and maybe a healthy release. I think this is a good thing, but what do I know? I'm just a guy!
You be the judge: Enjoy the video of his performance here on YouTube. See what I mean?
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, now 13 and 16, full-time. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and, now, as a newly remarried dad in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW Facebook page at Facebook and follow him on Twitter. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|