When I say that I’m a “big fan” of music, it conjures up the most delicious image of a gigantic fan, perhaps with a whimsical image of Your Aunt Becky in full geisha gear, doing something graceful and womanly painted on there. Then I giggle and forget what I’m saying because I’m on TOPAMAX, man, and that shit is BAD NEWS and I can barely remember your name, let alone what I was laughing at.
Anyway, for as long as my kid, Benner, has been alive, I’ve made him listen to music.
When he was a screamy baby, it was the only thing that kept me from driving off a cliff while he wailed on in the backseat (let’s just PRETEND I live somewhere besides the Midwest, where there actually MIGHT be cliffs). Later, it was one of the things that comforted him and soothed the savage beast within him when nothing else–save for his beloved Jupiter–could.
Never mattered what it was, could have been a commercial jingle, the kid would stop what he was doing, and start dancin’. Out of nowhere, I’d warble, “you could be dannnnccciiiinnnng” and he’d immediately stop, and start bouncing up and down. Which if you’re related to me, is dancing.
Don’t believe me? Go to BlogHer, or another place where I’ll be in front of a DJ and watch Your Aunt Becky dance. I call it The White Girl Shuffle, but really, white girls everywhere should be pretty mad at me for calling it that because it disgraces their name.
So the kid, he’s always been around music. And because I’m sort of Rainman WITH music, I’m always muttering the name of the song and who it is by to him. Like, he’ll be in the backseat listening serenely and I’m driving and out of nowhere I’ll scream, “SUPERTRAMP, GOODBYE STRANGER!!! MEMORIZE IT, BEN!”
If nothing else, the kid is going to be wicked good at bar trivia some day and probably scared of loud noises. He’ll thank me, I’m certain.
Music is the one thing we could agree on. Actually, it’s the only thing we agree on.
For years, the kids has been rejecting me. He preferred his crib to his mother, then his planets. Once he got his autistic spectrum diagnosis, I will admit that I was relieved because you know what Pranksters? It proved that the issue wasn’t with me. I wasn’t a bad mother (okay, maybe I was, but not for the reasons you’d think) and I cannot tell you the weight that was lifted off of me.
So music, I loved music too. Anyone who loved music as voraciously as I did is someone that I could love very, very much. Furthermore, it was someone who I could get along with quite well.
And so we do. He took up the violin when he was 6, took a year off when he changed schools, and is now back in the orchestra playing the violin. Yesterday, we went to his second concert.
I sat back in the hushed auditorium where I used to play my own concerts (I was a cellist), my seat-back assailed by a thousand tiny kicks from the turdlick behind me and I watched as my son took his seat. First chair, first violin.
That’s like watching your kid become quarterback.
My heart swelled with pride and I beamed ear to ear. I almost got up and announced to the packed auditorium, “Hey fuckers, that’s MY kid in first chair,” but I didn’t want to embarrass anyone. Especially Ben.
I sat there, glowing, and while I nearly passed out as the person in front of me farted and the turd behind me kicked my chair repeatedly, the orchestra of 300 third graders played Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I’ve heard it countless times before, and while never quite so…discordant, it was beautiful.
Mostly because it was MY son, MY kid up there in the first chair, doing me proud.
There we were, on the same page at last. My son and I.
When he wins his Bar Trivia Trophy, I’m betting he’ll want to dedicate it to me, too. Because, really, what barfly doesn’t want to destroy all chances of getting laid by commemorating their crowning achievement to their mother? I guess I’ll have to start clearing out room for his future trophies now.
Maybe The Daver can start sleeping in the garden.