Dad in [Mid-life] Crisis

DadInMidlifeCrisisMy father’s midlife crisis missed all the typical marks. There was no Rogaine, no convertible, and unfortunately for me, no round-the-world family vacation. His path to middle age can be summed up in four words: “I’m taking trumpet lessons.” I nodded vaguely and went back to forging practice times in my clarinet notebook. A seasoned lesson veteran and bona fide quitter of every extra curricular activity under the suburban sun, I immediately forgot his announcement.

Months later, my mother and I received a formal invitation to his first recital, “An Afternoon of Performance.” My father was shy about bringing the family, especially since he wouldn’t meet the other students in the studio until that day. We convinced him it would be fun and were especially proud that my dad had beat out the competition for a short solo in one song.

Flowers in my left hand, candy in my right, my mother and I settled into seats at a local community center nearby the studio. A woman behind me commented, “I can’t believe they gave Joe the solo.” Before I had the chance to speak up in favor of my dad’s late-blooming musical genius, the students filed in from offstage. As everyone in the room took in the height discrepancy between my father and the other players, my mother and I realized he was the oldest student by at least thirty years. We burst out laughing, opened up the box of candy, and settled in to wait for the solo. Ten years later, my father plays trumpet in a band comprised solely of adults – while the others are still stuck performing with kids.

(image of trumpet courtesy of Pixomar/

(image of curtain courtesy of Master Isolated Images/


If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy reading about The Big Milkshake’s coming-of-name crisis.

_____________________________________________________________________________________ **Leah Prinzivalli writes on her stoop in New York City. Her dreams include writing about milkshakes for a milkshake-themed website, and she is halfway there. If you’ve ever Googled a dessert, follow Leah on Twitter @leahprinz.