Five children huddle around the door to their playroom. Each with fingers stuffed in their ears. Watching in horror at the scene that is unfolding before their delicate eyes.
It is a perfect playroom. A playroom that the five children had only previously dreamed of. Its awesomeness only surpassed by the attic. And now the playroom has been taken over. Taken over by a man in a skirt.
The man in the skirt is the children's father and he is blowing so hard into the long black pipe that the second oldest child wonders if his eyes will blow out from his head from the pressure. His eyes are certainly looking dangerously bugged out. The familiar tunes blare out as the instrument is inflated, squeezed, inflated and squeezed. The second oldest child is certain the people stuck in traffic two blocks away are also being serenaded by her father and she wonders if they appreciate the sacrifice she and her siblings have made. She also thinks that her father could have chosen a less obtrusive instrument to play.
But the girl knows that then there wouldn't be that special daddy time spent sitting on his knee as he plays the long black stick by itself.
Over the course of many years (and many homes) the father plays his bagpipes less and less. Space doesn't allow for it and the children demand more time from their father. But every time the girl hears the sweet strains of the bagpipe it reminds her of those days when she would stuff her fingers in her ears and hope like heck that the practicing would stop before play time was over.
postscript: The father is now a self taught banjo player and on special kind of days the second oldest child is blessed with the sweet dulcet sounds of the banjo scales as she attempts to talk to her mother on the phone. She feels really lucky that she has a father who taught her the importance of practice.