And then, there are those songs that cut through the chaos of a child’s, or adult’s, screaming, whining, just don’t want to comply fit. Music that with the drop of a single note has the power to pacify a situation’s storming energy, and turn it into a gentle rain guided by harmony.
We were driving from here-to-there with our daughters and niece smack dab in the middle of time’s torture window – 2-4 PM. Amelia was chatty and upset with Hazel’s despondence, our niece, who’s a little bit older, wanted to space-out, Hazel, responding to Amelia’s provocation started to get antsy. I needed a break from humanity, and Robin, with an amazing ability to close the world off wherever she happens to be, was on planet X.
It was through this muddle that a tiny voice of reason emerged, “You know how to listen to me song, you know how to listen to me song.”, it was Hazel mumble-whispering a request. Without hesitation, I “auxed” my phone, spun to the “K’s”, pushed play, and turned-up Kate Nash’s “Paris”.
Now, I’d like say we all stopped, sung together, and followed our session up with a good laugh and group silence, but that isn’t quite how it happened. It has happened that way, but not on this occasion.
You see, the music went up and I (feeling the moment) bopped in my seat singing every word. Oblivious, and thinking everyone in the car was right there with me, I hatched new hand motions and head movements galore.
But, when I turned and looked at Robin, hoping she’d share the mic with me, I noticed her in tears laughing at “the moment” that I, and I alone, was having.
Surely the kids were singing, they always sing with me. Nope. They had settled on a single conversation and abandoned “our song.” Did it stop me? No, I kept right along, with even more vigor, bopping and calling out to the person who “Never listens to me.”
What song clears the air for you? How many times has a passenger, pedestrian, or person at a stop light caught you “in the moment.”?
* The cute part – Hazel and Amelia think the lyrics are “You know how to listen to me.”, they’re “You’ll never listen to me.”. I can only imagine what they think Elton John is saying in “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
Andrew Meyer is a Special Education teacher from Madison, Wisconsin, whose wife’s job relocation changed their family roles and physical location. He's now a stay-at-home dad in Madison, Alabama, to two awesomely creative, sometimes challenging, and mostly sweet five and two-year-old girls who fill his days, nights, and in-between spaces. When with or without them, he writes, works-out, wonders, wishes he wouldn’t worry, wrestles with his wife’s commitment to her job, and listens to music. You can also find him at www.papasense.wordpress.com, on Twitter @papasense, and Facebook.