The guy who answered your Craigslist ad is in the garage checking out the amp.
“Looks primo,” he says. “Good condition.”
“Just keep your voice down,” tell him.
“What for?” he asks.
The garage door swings open. Your eleven-year-old son comes in.
“What the hell is going on here?” he asks.
You grab the guy’s money out of his hand and shove the amp toward him.
“Just go,” you say.
“Go? With the amp? What the hell are you doing, Dad?”
Go to your boy. “You need school supplies! You need clothes! We need this money. I have to let go of the dream!”
Your son grabs your shoulders. “You’re the best guitarist I’ve ever heard. I’d quit school before I let you quit playing that axe.”
“I can’t let you do that,” tell him.
Your son takes the cash out of your hand, walks it to the guy and holds it out to him.
“We’ve decided not to sell,” your son says.
The guy puts the amp down.
“No!” you shout. “This has to happen.”
“Get the hell out of here,” your son says to the guy. The guy runs off.
Your son turns around to you. “You can’t make me learn at the cost of you giving up your gift,” your son says. “I promise you, I won’t even let myself learn to read if you quit.”
“Wait,” you say. “You’re eleven. You don’t know how to read yet?”
“Why read when I can rock?” your son says. “Now play some Quiet Riot.”
You do as your son says. You shred the guitar with everything you have in you. If this is what your son wants from you, if this is more important to him than learning to read or gaining a grasp of basic math, you might as well let him have it.
Happy Don’t Sell Your Amplifier Day!