There are times in your life when you feel such total pride that it’s hard to describe in words. They say that your children are usually at the centre of that emotion and you know, they’re right. Kids are always an enigma for parents. You try your best as a parent to give them what they need, sometimes what they want too, but it’s often hard to draw the line between those two things, especially when the round peg things they want don’t fit in the square hole things you’ll let them have. Lord knows the colour of my hair is testimony to the stresses of being asked to make round pegs fit into square holes for the past 24 years!

When my eldest son Tyler said he wanted to be a chef my wife and I both looked at each other and had one of those eye-rolling moments. This from a kid who had never boiled an egg, let alone cracked one open. Yet his determination was fixated on this goal from the age of about 15 and he didn’t waver from it. He went to chef school, graduated near the top of his class, worked horrific hours and landed the prime job of head chef at the world class Harvey’s restaurant in Durban at the tender age of 23. A moment of pride that made every grey hair on my head a medal of honour that I am just as proud to bear.

Then my youngest, Trent, who turns 17 in three weeks time, last year decided he wanted to become a musician. Dear God, I thought. A chef and a musician. I might be supporting kids until I die. So we sent him off to a friend of mine’s weekly school for aspiring musical artistes, namely the Sycamore Academy of Rock, run by John Chamier and Ant Coetzee. I’ve watched Trent progress with his guitar playing in the past year to the point where I am quite flabbergasted with his ability. Since then I’ve watched him get up on stage in front of crowded music venues with his academy peers and play songs peerlessly. Last night his class had their first serious gig at Jack Rabbits in Morningside and it was just awesome! He played rhythm for a couple of songs and then bass on another.

The thing that impresses me the most with these kids of mine is that they are not scared to go out there and just get what they’re after. When I was that age I was so self-conscious and devoid of confidence that I wouldn’t even walk into a store on my own. Seriously. These boys of mine well my heart with pride and if I can I would be privileged to support them in whatever endeavour they want for as many grey hairs that God decides to let grow or fall from my head.

Rock on, boys. Rock on.

Some photos from last night’s gig.

Photography footnote: I called this blog post “A Beautiful Noise” for a couple of reasons. The obvious one is that it’s taken from Neil Diamond’s great song of the same title describing the music of the world, but it’s also a description of the image quality I am getting from this simply amazing Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless camera. I pushed the ISO up to 6400 and in some cases 12800 with this little champ at last night’s gig. I was expecting noisy images, but you know what? Looking at what I got with the Oly all I can say is it’s a beautiful noise and I love it. It’s more like film grain than digital noise and I haven’t removed a stitch of it in these shots. Rock on, Olympus!