There are few things sweeter than sharing a particular "favorite" with your children as they grow. With Vee, it has always been music, blast-your-body-until-your-insides-shake music.
I remember my first concert. The Police. In Seattle. I wore stardust jeans and danced near the speakers. My entire self vibrated. I glimpsed beauty. I was only 12 or 13 and I went with my brother and his girlfriend. Ironically, my brother has the same persona as my eldest, same loves, same past-times, same compassion, same approach to religion & politics, same approach to life in general. My Vee. I can see the family genes traveling on through. My bro and loud music. Vee and loud music.
In college. Same bro. Primal Screaming. If you haven't tried it, it is worth the effort. You're not fully alive until you can do a primal scream at the drop of a hat. In public. In private. Fully capable. My bro and I drove up (and down) the canyons in Provo practicing. It took me a long time before I could do it. Now I finally can. At the drop of a hat.
You know what cinched it? The remake of the Tears for Fears song, "Shout" done by Disturbed (or Staind?) We played it regularly one summer when Aee was 2 yo, cruising up (and down) the TX freeways. Aee was a headbanger in those days. A little two year old headbanger full of angst and pain way beyond her years. I played the song. I told them about the mechanism behind the primal scream. They got it, each on their own level.
The other day I had a friend tell me, "So, I saw you and your kids cruising down 580 in your minivan." (pause while I wonder why this busy man would bother mentioning something so mundane) "You and your kids were laughing and talking and it looked like you were all... dancing." (I smile my Cheshire cat grin.) "I have never seen a family so happy together." (Grin drops a little.) He meant it. "I have never seen..." Each word was so carefully enunciated like some sort of subconscious confession, a reaching out. "...a family so happy together." How sad.
There's a pause while the realization sinks in that not everybody has fulfilling family lives. Statistically, few people have happy family lives. It can go wrong so easily for a million reasons and it can go right for only one -- hard work. It's a heap-o-work to build strong, healthy ties.
Tonight as Vee and I were going to pick up his bike from the high school (long story, but sometimes his travels lead him in routes where he doesn't get back to his initial mode of transport). In the car, we blasted the dance tunes loud-loud-and-louder.
The lyrics vibrated right through me: "...sick and tired of always being sick and tired..." and I knew with that deep surety that I simply had to run tonight. I needed to run. We got home and 60 seconds later, we were back out the door, dressed in good running gear with one son babysitting and another son walking out the door with Eee and me, all on the dark sidewalks running in sync.
I ran until my lungs burst. One full song. My lungs felt so fully open, stretched, cleansed. It was awesome. There is something about the music vibrating that motivates my body to move and I am bolstered by the fact that my son, my baby, is similarly motivated.
Then the coolest thing happened, a shift in perspective... (see next post above).