So, I was driving the car the other day with all my kiddos crammed into it. I had the radio tuned into the oldies station. Here is the weird thing. The oldies station doesn’t play oldies anymore. They used to play oldies. When I was a teenager they played all sorts of music from the fifties and sixties. If you wanted to hear Elvis, the Beach Boys, or the Beatles you would just flip to the oldies station. Now the oldies station plays 80’s music. I KNOW, RIGHT?! 80’s music is not old! 80’s music is just awesome! I should know; I listened to 80’s music, in the 80’s even. If 80’s music is old, that would mean I am old. I am not old. According to facebook I am 23. I feel 23. 23 is not even a little old.
As we are driving along, listening to the not so oldies station, Prince starts to sing about how he is going to party (like it’s 1999, in case you were wondering). I am singing along and showing off my sick car dancing skills. My second son, who is sitting in the passenger seat, rolls his eyes, sighs dramatically, and says “I hate 80’s music. They didn’t have any passion or skill in the 80’s”
My heart stops. There is no terror like realizing that your son was switched at birth. This is obviously the only reason for his sudden poor taste in music.
“Ummmmm, this is Prince.” I clarify. Everything will be alright now. He will realize his horrible error and correct his ways.
He does not correct his ways. It gets worse.
“I know.” he says.
I am quiet for a while. I am confused. This child is a talented musician. At least, he is supposed to be. When he was seven he wanted to take guitar lessons from The Edge. What horrible crimes against humanity have I committed to cause this dramatic change in personality?
“Wh-why would you say that?” I ask quietly.
“There’s just no passion.” he says. “You can’t even play it loud.”
Relief washes over me. Oh, it’s just too quiet. I think. I smile and turn up the radio. Peter Cetera enters the car via the speakers and reminds me that after all that we’ve been through, he will make it up to me. He’s been full of those kinds of promises for as long as I can remember but I return to the matter at hand.
“Here,” I say “I know this guy has passion.” Passion. I grew up in the 80’s. I know that there is nothing on this planet more passionate than a 13 year old singing along with Chicago’s Greatest Hits. Then it hits me. Second Son was not alive in the 80’s. It is quite possible that Second Son has no idea what passion even is. Second Son has probably confused passion with having a large sub woofer in the trunk. Dear God, has this child even seen a Guns N’ Roses music video? Second Son shakes his head slowly. I have officially failed him as a parent.
U2 now enters the car. Bono is telling me how I’m even better than the real thing, Child. “Child” is Bono’s little nickname for me. The poor man was devastated when I married The Pastor, so I let him get away with it.
“Now these guys,” I say “These guys have tons of passion.” U2. Who’s going to argue with U2?
“They’re not really all that talented.” he says.
OH. NO. HE. DIDN’T.
I start taking slow deep breaths. I focus on keeping the car on the road at this moment of tragedy.
“Talent?” I hiss “You want talent? I have U2. I have R.E.M. I have Michael Jackson! Who do you have? You have Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber! You are not allowed to speak to me of talent!”
Second Son smirks.
“You have a point.” he says.
OOOOhhhhhhh, Second son was just being snarky! I am relieved. All is right with the world again and I haven’t completely failed as a parent. My breathing returns to normal as Bruce Springsteen enters the car to inform us of his country of birth (the USA in case you were wondering).
We are going to have to work on Second Son’s snarkyness (I wonder where he gets that from, anyway). I think I’ll start by buying him a copy of Chicago’s Greatest Hits. I think I’m also going to start a petition to change the name of the oldies station to The Awesome Station, ’cause I’m only 23 and 23 year olds don’t listen to oldies stations.