When my daughter turned four, we threw a little shindig in her honor. We had five other three and four year olds over with their families and some other adult family friends. I took care of the kid activities in the living room and my wife took care of the adult activities in the dining room. It went well.
As things were winding down, an eleven year old sibling to one of the three year olds (and who had obviously not fallen into the kid or adult categories of fun), asked if I could play my Wolverine guitar. The festivities were over and everyone was working on second helpings of cake and ice cream, so I said sure. I took it from the wall, sat next to him, and began playing the basic blues riffs and chordal progressions I know. Then I went to some Simon & Garfunkel tunes, then my Police finger stretch exercise song, then I finished with some Joan Jett. Everyone who rocks loves at least two Joan Jett songs. Then his parents decided it was time to go and I put the guitar back on the wall.
That night I began to wonder if the eleven year old had been asking me to play Wolverine or if he had been asking me if he could play Wolverine. Oh no. Did I just presume what his question was since I always want to play the guitar? Was I rude? Did I truly ruin his chance to enjoy any aspect of a four year old’s birthday party he was forced to go to?
Luckily his Mom came by the next day so I asked her. She called me back and affirmed that the eleven year old had only asked if I could play the guitar for him. I thanked her and asked her to tell him that I would be happy to give him a chance to play it and if he didn’t feel comfortable, I could teach him something to get started.
I’m happy when I’m not a total jerk.