Ok, here's a post completely out of left field. Non-political, non-topical, just purely personal.
I've played woodwinds--principally clarinet--pretty much all of my life. I don't even know why I picked clarinet. My father often had "ideas" and he pushed me into picking a musical intrument when I was in second grade. To this day I can remember telling him I wanted to play the long black thing. Didn't even know what it was. Just picked it because he decided I should play an instrument. Incredibly the whole thing led to a continuing relationship with music and performance. I've played all through high school and college as well as with community bands and the Baltimore Colts band (if that doesn't date me I don't know what will). The relationship between woodwinds is pretty fluid: I can also play saxophone and flute although I've never really been able to master the embouchure to truly play the flute well. I played woodwind for musical plays in high school and college that required that I switch off between clarinet and tenor sax and loved every minute of it. In high school I discovered another love, still musical--drum and bugle corps. I ended up playing the bass baritone bugle and I play with a drum and bugle corps to this day--we're talking some 30 years now.
I guess it was a given that the kids would take up instrumental music in school, though I never pushed it. Snake Eater Junior opted for the saxophone. I was a bit disappointed at the time, but merely because I had to buy a sax as opposed to simply giving him the clarinet I had at home. I bought an alto sax, and by the end of the first year he decided he wanted to play tenor sax. I certainly had no problems with that--I always played tenor and I think it sounds so, so much better than an alto. So I bought a tenor sax.
I didn't mind buying the second (tenor) saxophone one bit because as it turns out, he's one talented musician. According to his band teacher, he's also a leader in band, something that is echoed by his other teachers.
The Bear was talking flute for the longest time, then suddenly decided on clarinet. Fortunately I had a clarinet for her. Well, she's taken to clarinet like a duck takes to water. She's phenomenal--And I have the basis to know. Been there, done that, all that stuff. She's good.
Which leads us to family jam sessions. I never imagined that. But we have two saxes, two clarinets (and two bugles, but we're no quite there yet). I'm almost overwhelmed, but what an absolute blast. It's been great, and I can only anticipate more of the same.