Since Holden was about 4 weeks old and began noticing what was playing on the tv screen, we’ve made a marked effort to listen to more music. This will not be a diatribe on Modern Parental Guilt and screen time or anything like that, but it just seemed since we were just using the news for background noise in those early days, it was just as easy to have music playing.
[Also, if I’m being totally honest (and if you are doing the math) November 2016 just wasn’t a super uplifting time to be watching the news in our country if you were already feeling overwhelmed. So. MUSIC IT WAS! And I’m happy to report, among others, Holden already has a healthy appreciation for everyone from Technotronic (WHAT??) to the Wu Tang Clan.]
Hey look: Here’s Proof! (He definitely does NOT dance like that when Lester Holt is talking about Donald Trump, I promise.)
When I got home on Friday night, I told Garrett we needed to play Sultans of Swing for Holden, and he happily obliged. On my way home from work I had called my mom, as usual, and she was excitedly detailing how she found the 70s Music Station on Pandora. Usually she just plugs in a song or an artist, so she was pretty impressed with herself for curating such a varied playlist and she had spent the day listening to The Doors, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits and thinking about good times with my dad back in the day.
“I hadn’t heard some of those songs in years,” she said so sweetly. My dad had been a MAJOR music enthusiast, and it was cute to hear her talk about all the songs my dad used to know and love and talk about.
So we popped in Dire Straits as Garrett, Holden and I had dinner and reminisced. That’s about as wild as our Friday nights are these days — listening to old albums as the sun goes down, watching our baby kick and punch and wiggle along to the music. It’s not as busy as it once was and we are certainly more tired (that may be the first St. Patrick’s Day where were in bed before 9) but I think that lazy, hazy feeling only contributes to how special everything feels. When we turn the lights down and the speakers up, you can almost feel the nostalgia right there in the moment.
The next morning Holden made an expression that looks just like my dad, as he does often these days. He has my dad’s eyes and his round face and the way he photographs sometimes it is just so bittersweet. I love it so much, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a tiny bit painful every once in a while. My dad would have loved being a grandpa.
Sunday would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday and, hungrier than usual to connect with his memory, I posted a great Flashback Friday picture of him that my mom had recently sent on Facebook and asked for folks who knew him to share their memories with me. For most of the weekend the stories kept rolling in and I was so touched by the tiny things people remembered and shared.
On Sunday night, after a long day, I was scrolling Facebook in Costco while waiting on a pizza (#ParentLife) and a new comment popped up from a relative who lives far away and my jaw just dropped as I read it:
I don’t know how to explain those things, or what it all means in the big scheme of things, but what I do know is that those little winks and nods from The Universe keep me feeling connected to him. It felt so good, but as I sat there I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Of course I felt like my dad was right there just beyond my reach and that immediately made me sad. But knowing my dad, somewhere in the back of my mind I could just hear him belly laughing and saying — “Mark my word, that little grandbaby of mine is NOT going to grow up to be a Justin Bieber fan.”