Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Magical Minivan Tour

We have already determined that I don't listen to kiddy music in the car. Even if Kiddies are present. I can't do it and the bleeding in my ears that radiodisney causes is distracting.

Many time when I run errands I put on the radio ( not XM, just regular free radio) sometimes my errands are about as long as the commercial breaks. If I ever need a tanning salon, weight loss program, botox, hemorrhoid repair or cheap car insurance-- I know where to go. Sometimes I catch a few songs. Usually the same ones I heard on my errands the day before. Wanna talk giving me hell?

Yesterday I had to drive Bekah to confirmation at church. Ordinarily we carpool with another family so that we only have to drive one direction ( 12 minutes from our subdivision). Said Child had strep, so it was me and my own children in the Mystery Machine.

After our customary preflight 15 point check, I flipped on the radio expecting to hear the creepy Celsius Tannery commercial ( someone MUST tell me how skin damage is supposed to be sensual) or how the Voice on the Radio didn't need to shave anymore. But no, there was actual music! And not a song I had heard on my morning school run. My top 40 station is going outside the play list. Hope no one loses their job!

As the first song ended, just a couple of miles from home, I heard something that caused me to flashback to college. Joan Jett? JOAN JETT? No, this must be some remake.. Did the Faux Bros do a cover of I Love Rock and Roll? Please say no.. but there she was…. In all her chick rocker glory belting it out just like she did when I was in college :

I saw him dancin there by the record machine
I knew he must a been about seventeen
The beat was goin strong
Playin my favorite song
An I could tell it wouldn’t be long
Till he was with me, yeah me, singin

When I say flashback, I mean I was dancing and screaming along with Joan and the Blackhearts just like I would have at the college bar… I mean, you know, if I had gone to a bar in college. Like I did in my dorm room. All alone. On a study break.

I also mean real memory flashback: I remembered my friends from that time-- some I have kept up with-- some are eternally 21 in my head. Images of my life at that time flashed before me as well. The clothes, the foods, the activities were as vivid as if they had just occurred. I felt the emotions of the stressors then, the uncertain future but the wonder that anything was possible.

The lyrics, which usually fail me, were right there at my disposal -- front of the brain ready to be belted out. And belt them I did.

Before you give it to me for dancing while driving, I was at a long traffic light when I did the serious headbang/hairflip move. I think competitive car dancers get extra points for that since it requires not only a high degree of difficulty but you must be able to banish all modesty. It is not a move for the shy and inhibited.

None of this behavior would have occurred if the normal carpool scenario was in place. The kid we drive is really nice and I like her a lot. We generally talk about LOST and I put on K-LOVE since, well, we are driving to church. Yeah, this is a little two faced of me. I’ll own that. But I do have it preset and listen to it often. Well, sometimes.

In the back seat 4 yr old Noah was catching on to the chorus and singing along. And apparently he learned the hairflip/ head banger move too. Love that kid .

In the front seat, 12 yr old Bekah did not slide low in the seat. She did give me a perfunctory eye roll, but her heart wasn’t into it. She LIKED the music. MY music. When I started a quick history of the Girl Rocker who is Joan Jett and the implications she had on the music scene in the early ‘80’s. How she was mainstream but gritty. I got a “ hush I’m trying to listen”. I love that kid.

And how was she rewarded for tolerating a mom who was channeling her inner party girl? The very next song was one of her all time favorites-- and it’s not on the top 40 lineup right now.

SQUEEEEEEL! “It’s Taylor Swift, Teardrops On My Guitar! They never play this and it's the song that made me a fan!” Usually a declaration like this would be followed by “ turn it up!”. But, it was already Rocking The Minivan loud.

Miraculously, just as we arrived at church her song ended. PERFECT timing.

As we pulled away to head home, the radio began to play a song that is currently in the top 10 lineup. I do adore it because it reminds me of my gal pals. Beyonce’s Single Ladies. As we drove home I sang and danced along to this current favorite song. One that I know I will hear in 20 years and flashback to memories of the women that shared my life with me. To a time when my kids were young and we spent hours shuttling them back and forth. I will remember the times I spent messing around with the kids in the car. I wondered if they will hear it and have it remind them of me. I looked in my rearview mirror at Noah. He had his eyes closed as he sang along.. To every single word---- bopping his head to the music.

( For Bekah: my source of estrogen inspiration)


  1. Great post Susan! Have you heard Kelly Corrigan's essay "Transcending" ?

  2. Thank you!

    I have! It's beautiful! Did this remind you of that? That would be an awesome compliment if it did.


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