The Power of Music


I listen to the 70’s satellite  radio station in the car, which is sometimes a mistake.

The other day, on the way to pick up my son from his high school band practice, Leo Sayer started singing When I Need You and immediately I was reminded of my youth (not unlike the wonderful Mallomar I’ve talked about).

I drove down Main Street, but I was seeing my own High School in my vision: my fifteen-year-old self, carrying my books and meeting my three besties in the parking lot — the same three people who still grace my life today, and who keep me tethered to everything I know and loved.

Sitting in my car, waiting for my son, Sayer was followed by Michael Murphey’s Wildfire. I thought of my mom, and what she must have felt like watching me and my brother grow up: start high school, plow through puberty, then graduate and head to college, while we forged through life looking only ahead, free of sentiment and nostalgia.

God, it’s so easy being a kid. Now it’s all I can do, when given the time and the right mood music, to hold myself together as my own kids go through the very stages of life I did without thought.

I think of my mortality as I get older and wonder how the hell I got here and how desperately I want to go back and do it again, the same way, only this time with the appreciation of one who knows just how precious it all is… Just yesterday I was on the bus, making weekend plans with the girls, complaining about homework, and whispering about my latest crush.

Five minutes later, I was a bride with a baby who took my breath away, who I held for hours while watching him breathe, sleep, laugh and learn, in awe, wondering what kind of person he would be. I even asked him, days old, as we both stared at each other with the dawn outside. I remember how he looked at me, inquisitively — this beautiful babe — probably wondering What is this woman saying, and Why doesn’t she just feed me?

Now, he’s taller than me and he has a brother who’s not far behind. They’re more than I could have hoped for.

High School. Is it true these are the fastest years? Could they possibly pass any faster than his first fifteen? Than my last twenty-five?

Once in a while, I need to step off the hamster wheel and just take it all in. My kid is in high school. I’M THE PARENT OF A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.

For the love of God, can someone please tell me, how do I slow down the clock of time?

I really have to start listening to AM radio. News. Strictly news.

This music is killing me.