Beatles on the record player


“My baby buys me things, you know, she buys me diamond rings…”

T and I are listening to the Beatles on a record player. He is also doing remarkable things with a yoyo. Me, I’m on the love seat with my feet up and a glass of wine within handy reach.

“You should go to bed,” I tell him. Because I am an excellent mother.

“I’m a loooooooser…” sing the Beatles.

T simply gives me a look.

Parenting changes as your children get older. And I know I always knew this, but it’s becoming even more painfully obvious during the high school years.

I spent the day at T’s high school a couple weeks ago. I spoke to six English classes about writing and Shakespeare, and by the end of it I had a headache and couldn’t remember what I’d already talked about. These high schoolers – kudos to them for dealing with high school every day of the week. That takes a certain kind of strength.

I now have two teenagers and I’m confused by this. I remember the first time L ate a banana. T and I cheered, because when you are one, eating a banana is an accomplishment you don’t accomplish every day. We were all in the kitchen. Sun was coming through the sliding glass door. L was in a diaper on the floor, and T was dancing behind him, grinning and holding out his hands to catch anything that might happen to fall. But now, they all eat bananas, and sushi, and oodles of noodles, and pomegranates without a blink of the eye. Unless they get pomegranate juice in their eyes. Actually, I’m not sure any of them have ever eaten a pomegranate. I, myself, am not big on pomegranates, and children do as their parents do. There is a dearth of pomegranates in our house.

I’ll follow the sun,” sing the Beatles.

I used to love rainy days. And then it rained forever, and now I’m done with rainy days. I need some sunshine. I need to be warm. I need my boys to be outside, shooting hoops and bouncing on the trampoline and hiding in the hammock that we’ve strung by the creek. I need them to come inside filthy and sweaty and smelling like boy, eyes crazy with energy and heat and the joy that comes from landing a triple twist double back flip. It’s a thing. I’ll post a video one of these days.

But this rain–it’s a buffer. Soon, it will be too hot to move. Soon, school will be out and I will be consistently filled with guilt at leaving the boys in the morning to go to work and returning to them in the evening, depleted and lacking the necessary resources for true engagement. This rain is a degree of normalcy before the weirdness of summer vacation. I’ll take it. Even as I disparage of the mold growing in my hair.

If you break my heart, I’ll go,” sing the Beatles.

Arlo the dog is pressed between the couch back and my leg. I’m not sure he’s a fan of the record player. But he’s a fan of being close to me. I’m a fan of being close to him. These dogs will be around after the last boy has moved away. God willing and the creek don’t rise.

2 thoughts on “Beatles on the record player

  1. Goodness, you are a fine writer. You’re an excellent mirror of our life. A wonderful writer and my very favorite wife.

  2. You certainly have inherited the talents of the two generations (the ones I love/loved like family) before you! I can easily envision all you describe and feel your emotions with your boys. Time has a way of rushing childhood, but our boys do come home, with the best hugs. Can’t wait to read more of your work!

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