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Driving to Old Songs
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“Lucy in the sky with diamonds!” my four kids and I shouted as I drove up I-5 towards Oregon. That’s how we rolled. We sang and listened to tunes. Many times it was a Beatles song because the Beatles are always my favorites, but my boys also love the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. My favorite Pink Floyd song is “Wish You Were Here,” and my favorite Led Zeppelin song is, “Brom-Y Your Stomp” on their more acoustic Led Zeppelin III album. So everyone is happy. My youngest daughter Megan, who is only around four years old loves it all, but I know when she gets older, she will form her own opinions. The first song she sang on her own was “Hello Good-Bye,” a Beatles song she must’ve heard dozens of times. I lose track.

One day while driving somewhere, “Hello Good-Bye” played on the radio and Megan sang along word-for-word and it was so cute. A couple of my older kids were in the car and they said, “Awwww!” She knew the whole song, and I don’t remember teaching it to her. She had just listened to it. We were all excited about how fast little Megan picked up on the music. I remember she was still sitting in a car seat so she could not have been much older than three or four at the time. My little redheaded girl just went with the flow, unlike my moody, wild three teenagers who could be wonderful, scary, and moody all in one day or even one hour or minute at times. I felt like I was in control as a parent, even a single parent with four kids when the older kids were still in elementary school. Then one after another, the pre-teen began with moodiness and just slightly pushing away from me, and then the full-on teenager status appeared as if out of nowhere. Suddenly, your kid thinks you don’t know anything at all, especially my older daughter Melissa who went from my sweet, helpful angel child to this moody, Gothic teenager who rolled her eyes and gave me dirty looks almost every day. What happened?

Anyway, one thing we always shared no matter what my kids went through was the music — and it happened a lot when they rode with me in the car because they were forced to be in the same area as me and to up in their rooms with the door shut doing who knows what, especially when their friends visited. It got to the point where I was afraid to walk into the “bedroom,” the one where they all seemed to hang out together.

Then time passed by with a blink of an eye and those teenagers turned into young adults and baby Megan turned into a teenager herself. I thought she’d be the easiest because we were so close and knew each other so well. Wrong! She was the craziest of them all suddenly in love with something called “Death Metal Music,” which sounded like monsters singing and loud death medal rock blaring. Not my favorite type of music at all.

Finally, even Megan grew out of that phase and became a young adult who went back to loving all the music we listened to when she was young, the Beatles and the classic rock I loved so much. But she still listened to a little Death Metal.

A couple more years went by and my grandson Jeremiah was born in 2011. My “wild child” younger son was the Dad and his current girlfriend the mom. When I saw Baby Jeremiah for the first time at the hospital, I cried because I loved him as much as I loved my own children except in a different way. I thought I was “done” with kids, but I was not at all. I had this beautiful grandson. We became instant buddies, even when he was a tiny baby. I always played Beatles music for him because that’s what I did with all my kids. He knew who each of them were because of the pictures I had hanging in my room, as well as a John Lennon doll one of the kids had gotten me for Christmas. He’d impress people with his knowledge of who the Beatles were at such a young age.

And then it happened again one day when I rode in the car in the back seat sitting next to Baby Jeremiah in his carseat. I remember he wore his spiderman jacket, and when the Beatles song, “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah played, he sang along on all the yeah yeah yeah!” He was barely two. And so it continues with the next generation. I too sang that song with my mom in 1964.

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