...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

remember the last time i wrote something here and i was in the car with my son? i'm still there, it's just the car and the kid that's different..

Earlier this week, my oldest son and I jumped into my car to run a quick errand. I love these rare moments when I've trapped just one of my children in a moving vehicle because it means they're at my mercy as I drop some sweet life lessons upon them. 

As soon as I fired up the beast, we were enrobed by the sound of Don Felder's gearhead love song, "Heavy Metal (Taken' A Ride)," as it exploded loudly from the radio speakers. Reaching for the knob to turn this classic cut down, I turned to my boy, nearly 15 and all long legs, ideas he thinks are wiser than mine, and equipped with a voice riddled with as many cracks as the dry Iowa farmland surrounding us and said, "I want to tell you something about me and this song."
I proceeded to tell him about a day when I was 14 and I stole the 45 single of "Heavy Metal" from a now-defunct record store at a nearby mall. "I shoved that 45 down the front of my pants, casually smoothed my shirt over it, cased the place, then walked out of the store." I said as my son sat staring at me from the passenger seat. "I still have it," I continued, then ticked off an embarrassingly long list of other singles that were hot in my hands while also hot on the charts that are still in my possession, tucked away in a large cardboard box stored in our basement.  

"If I even think about what I did to get those songs, I feel guilty," I added, enhancing my tale of juvenile stupidity by letting him know how idiotic it is to do something you know is wrong just because a friend might be encouraging him, and how the thrill you think you feel swiping that bottle of Cover Girl foundation in ivory from the neighborhood Walgreen's might feel good at first, but you'll get home and realize you took a stupid risk for something that costs so little AND ended up with the wrong color for your teenage, pimple-plagued complexion (or that's probably just me...)
On and on I went as Mr. Felder provided the soundtrack to my lesson. My kid was tuned in, both to me and the son, and I really believed I was getting to him in the moment. Confession is good for the soul, and honestly, that song is just good to listen to.

"Can I ask you something," my son said when I finally took a breath. Anticipating a query about what drove me to a life of teenage crime, what his grandmother must have thought when I would arrive home with my new bounty, or whether I would be mad at him if he foolishly made such a mistake now, I formulated my various answers while giving him the go ahead to pepper me with his queries.

"What's a 45?" he asked.
Lesson learned, buddy.