Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rapper Mom

Today, I woke up to rap music and smiled. Now, I'm not at all musically inclined. I can neither sing nor play a musical instrument. But something about a melody just moves me.

Last year, on a whim, I accompanied my two teenage daughters, with a friend and her daughter, to a rap concert. Yes, catch your breath, a T.I./Young Gunz concert. Shut your mouth!

I admit it. At a hundred and one years old, I do enjoy listening to rap music. It's hard to explain, but somehow I drop the "P" in prude and add a "C". Sometimes, I even allow it to stand alone, as I accept the "rude" rap, with its contagious, off-the hook beat.

I think rappers are clever little shrews, who've taken "oldies, but goodies", and mixed them, then looped them into rap music, with just enough of the beat to maintain the song's integrity. And for whatever reason, I find myself snapping my fingers and singing along to the radio and that's how I found myself at a rap concert last summer.

Originally, I was to be no more than an invisible chauffer, but then came the announcement that there would be a surprise guest. The lights went low, the crowd of teenagers hooted and hollered and then, BLAM!

He walked onto the stage and I lost my mind. Figuratively & literally, I lost my cotton picking, ever loving, mind! It was as if, I were 15 years old again. It was as if I was at a Beatles concert! I screamed feverishly and jumped up and down, then whooped and hollered some more. And that's when I noticed my two daughters, who had stopped cheering and now faced me and in unison they exclaimed:

In that nanosecond, I smiled. What else was a mother to do? Then, not wanting to miss one moment of the concert, I pointed at the stage and screamed again. And my girls, having gotten over their initial shock, forgave my transgression.

Over the past year, I’ve had to endure the retelling of that story at family gatherings. Sometimes, it’s nice to let your hair down and have fun. I love all kinds of music, from pop to R&B, from classical to jazz and yes, even elevator music, but rap music will always have a very special place in my heart. Because, it’s given me a wonderful memory, a moment shared with my daughters at a rap concert.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So This Is Retirement

Of all my mother's children, I like me the best. I'm one of four gems, stuck in the middle of a family that has lost some of its luster over the years. That is, we've gotten older and Mom, once an independent, single parent has also grown old. In a few months, she'll finally be able to retire.And while her co-workers will celebrate her retirement for the triumphant milestone that it is, we her children will sigh and wonder what she'll do now to stay busy. Which translates to: "How is this going to impact my life?"Pretty selfish when you think of all that she gave. Because in addition to being a Mom; she was also a Dad. Our father, her husband, went away a long time ago on a short road and left us with a long painful memory. She gave us life and allowed us our childhoods. And now, at 74 years old, Mom is retiring. Society is effectively putting her out to pasture and we, her children quietly watch from the sidelines. Secretly we'll pray-- "Please, God don't call us out onto that field to help."But how nifty the human mind is! As I sit and remember what once was, Mom is forgetting what is. Our minds are like bowls of water. With good memories floating on top of the surface and bad memories settled further down, at the bottom like heavy sediment. It seems to me, if I could just remember how my sisters and brother use to be, I'd have little trouble accepting them now, as adults.And then, I could just make sugar coated excuses to my mother. Excuses for why her children don't come around, now that she's retired. And as sure as the sky is blue, she'll forget what I said. So, I'll repeat the excuses, over and over again. Until at last, the lie almost seems like the truth. Even to me...I love my mother and out of all her children, I like me the best.

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