Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Living in a House with the Lights on

"All Aboard . . . ha, ha, ha, ha."
I turn up the car radio.
"Can you turn the channel?"
The middle one has asked from the back.
"What? "
I heard him, but I was incredulous.
The quiet one--my 15-year old--replies,
"I don't like Ozzy Osbourne."
Huh.  This boy is changing. He cut his hair, all long and curly, last month. Somewhere, about two years back, he decided Bob Dylan was his favorite. It's all been on the move since. The Rolling Stones were added to his vast collection about three months ago. That should have been a signal.
"What about Black Sabbath?"
"Nope, I don't like them at all."
"But you spent so many years convincing me to let you listen to Sabbath!"
"Yeah, you know . . . the allure of the forbidden fruit."
Huh. He did ask to borrow my Paul Simon collection last week.
The channel is now on an "oldies" station. Chicago's "Saturday in the Park."
"Do you like this song?"
A nod.
"Cause I listened to this CD for three weeks straight after you were born--so you did too."
We are now at home. I am combing my vast CD collection, at this time held in boxes because infant son was pulling the CDs off of the shelf in his daily home destruction tours. Infant son is excited by the open CD box. 15-year old son is next to me on the floor.
"You know, you could just put this whole collection on your iTunes and then you could get rid of all of these CD's."
That's what the minimalist 15-year old has done. He still retains about 10 choice CDs on his shelf. I note that Appetite for Destruction is still on that shelf, even though he told me tonight that he no longer likes heavy metal, just rock. And, by the way, "Led Zeppelin is not heavy metal." I buy that, I guess. The 10-year old version of this boy rewrote "Sweet Child O' Mine" for me for Mother's Day . . . "Sweet Mom O' Mine." Ahhh, I love little boys. So many hours spent listening to music with the middle one. He used to sit quietly in my rocking chair with me each morning, listening to music with me during my contemplative time. We did this until his was about nine. I have not repeated this routine with infant son. He is hard of hearing. I am not sure if my music is just annoying background noise, interfering with his hearing. Hearing loss--previously unchartered territory for me. But I sing to him--silly songs like, "The Wheels on the Bus." And we read lots of books in my lap.

This past weekend, my man and I helped the 15-year old purchase Bose headphones because he listens to music so much and we now understand how important it is to preserve our hearing.

I finally find the Chicago CD and hand it to 15-year old.
"I still don't like the Dave Matthews Band."
As if declaring his musical independence.
"That's fine. I don't much like them either unless I am seeing them live. I even change the channel sometimes when their songs come on the radio. You really need to see them live."
And he is off. I am left putting CDs into the box just slightly faster than infant son can take them out. I finally get the lid closed with all CDs inside. I pick up infant son and wonder who he'll someday become. You can never tell. But even now, I am pleased with the middle one; the man he is becoming.

Later, I listen to Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl Like You," on a mixed CD my man made for me this past spring. Somehow, the song sits just right and nostalgia blooms fragrant. When I was in college, I enjoyed walking in the neighborhoods surrounding campus at dusk. I would see the lights coming from the homes inside. I'd imagine the loving family activities taking place inside. I'd have longing for family. And now, sometimes, I long for solitude. But I love it still. This parenthood phase. This crazy train.

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