Yesterday, sitting in my warm car with my youngest child, I was truly shocked.
Shocked by the fact of only one child in my car.
Shocked by the fact that there were not two others in the backseat. Or, even, all three of them in the backseat, with the front seat empty. Which is how it had been for so very long.
I was reminded of so many memories in our car.
Rocking out to “I Like to Move it, Move it”, the car shaking with our “chair dancing,” one of each of our arms rhythmically slamming up and down.
Wondering if my kids singing words like, “You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals-
So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” was healthy for anyone.
The first time I heard Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” I was parked in downtown Burlington, about ready to turn the car off. I couldn’t take my ears off the beginning of this intensely intelligent song.
The kids were, all three of them across the backseat, seat belted in.
It was 2002. I had a seven year old, a six year old and a three year old.
I kept leaning in towards the speakers, listening intently.
I turned the music louder and louder and louder, so I could really be with it.
That is how life in our car was. Me choosing the music and playing it really loud. Us singing, dancing, moving.
As the first of my children began high school, a different pattern soon emerged.
School drop off would consist of the oldest being in the front seat, the other two in the back and the front seater would choose the music.
Soon I began to hear music I hadn’t heard of before. Genres I hadn’t considered.
Music I began to embrace as my children introduced it to me.
As each car we owned became more technologically savvy, and iPods and iPhones became more capable, the music would be more intensely chosen to suit each of my children’s voices.
I learned about and fell in love with EDM: Skrillex, a soundly stand-up human (whom my son and I saw in Montreal, arms up, slamming to the rhythm of the music, with the rhythm of the crowd), Knife Party (one day I drove away from the high school and found a song on the radio by Knife Party and listened to it all the way home, which later met with approval from my oldest.), and a string of other strong and talented artists, for whom beat and musical mixture is their medium.
Through my second son, I learned about and became impressed with Watsky. A strong, solidly moral voice with the courage to use it in his own way.
Watsky, whom we met outside the hotel at our first VidCon (a YouTube Conference I was fortunate enough to attend thanks to my second son’s desire to do so), where we also met John Green and Hank Green! and had a second opportunity to meet here in Vermont at another venue.
With my daughter, my youngest child, I am learning about so much music. So much music. Though I try, I simply cannot keep up with her expanded choices. The moment I learn who one of her choices is, she’s embraced more to pull together an extraordinary compilation of singularly strong and authentic voices.
One of whom is Troye Sivan. The more I get to know of his music, the more impressed I am with my daughter.
My children’s music choices would peter out as they walked towards the school (their iTunes going with them), and I would be sad to be left awkwardly in that moment where you wish the song would carry on…… but the song left with the high schooler, and I would be/am left with my own choices, again. My horizons broadened and my life enriched by the choices of my children.
Similar to Life. As our children start to grow into their own lives, and out of ours, the music of our lives, the fabric of our lives becomes broader, enhanced and enriched by the voices and choices of our children.
(Photo by Kayhl Cooper.)