Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cacophony and Melody

When I was in my twenties, I worked with high schoolers at my church. Officially I was at times a Bible school teacher or "sponsor" meaning that I hung out with the kids at their youth group meetings, camps, etc. I have a tendency to throw myself into some thing headlong and working with teenagers was one of those things. High school boys helped Paul and I move when I was pregnant with Colin. The same boys used to walk my dog Bob for me and wear him out. High school girls babysat for me. Kids sometimes just showed up to hang out or play around with Paul's guitars. I loved this part of my life.

One distinguishing feature of these years was my ability to tolerate noise. If you have kids you know that they are loud. If you have ever been around teenagers in groups, you know they are very, very loud. Much of the time, this adolescent cacophony did not bother me at all. When it did disturb me, I was able to cope with it or had enough leverage to get them to be quiet--at least for a few minutes.

I think that every ounce of noise tolerance that I had was used up in those years like a battery drained of all its power. Apparently it was a unrechargeable battery.

Enter one rock music loving hubby, one skateboarding teenage son--also a rock music lover, and the loudest six-year old girl ever to walk the earth. The noise. Oh, the noise. The worse times are during car rides. Music and bickering rule the road.

One solace is the time I am alone in the car. There, all alone with XM radio at my disposal, I listen to the 30s and 40s station. For some reason, the big band music and movie dance tunes and romantic ballads soothe my soul. Right now, my favorite is The Way You Look Tonight by Fred Astaire. His voice is beautiful; the lyrics are sweet. The song warms my heart.

When I'm awfully low
When the world is cold
I will feel a glow just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight

Yes you're lovely
With your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft
There is nothing for me but to love you
And the way you look tonight

With each word your tenderness grows
Tearing my fear upon it
And that laugh
Wrinkles your nose
Touches my foolish heart

Never ever change
Keep that breathless charm
Won't you please arrange it
Cause I love you
Just the way you look tonight

And that laugh
That wrinkles your nose
It touches my foolish heart

Don't you ever change
Keep that breathless charm
Won't you please arrange it
Cause I love you
Just the way you look tonight
Just the way you look tonight

Thank you Fred for the lovely song and the peace that it brings me in the car.

Until tomorrow,


11 down, 19 to go


Anonymous said...

I was always a background-noise kind of person, preferring to have music playing whenever possible, until I brought the Pie home from the hospital. Ever since then I have so treasured those moments of silence in my day (especially when they arise because both children are sleeping!).

ECR said...

I also wrote about being alone in the car yesterday! What a NaBloPoMoCo :) Even though my post had a melancholy tone, I do love driving for the solitude of it. For me, even when my daughter is in the car, driving is a calming experience (knock on wood). I have been driving the baby and the dog around on aimless jaunts since about a week after the baby was born. At first my daughter slept the whole time, but now she stares out the window from her front-facing seat and seems to really take in everything around her. I hope she will continue to love the car rides because they are an integral part of my sanity maintenance.

Mary-LUE said...

ECR, I cannot imagine my daughter sleeping or watching quietly while I drive. I think she was about one year old before she ever fell asleep in the car! She's a little pistol, I can tell you that.

My husband would love your daughter. He loves driving in the car just for the sake of a nice drive.

Anonymous said...

I love driving in my car for this very reason - quiet or if I want music I get to choose it... and I can listen to the same song/CD over and over again if I wish!

V-Grrrl said...

I too worked with teenagers in my twenties before having kids of my own in my 30s.

Noise gets to me, and I probably say "Hush," and "Please be quiet" more than any other mother. Belgium is a quiet country and I appreciate that. Americans truly are LOUD in comparison.

edj said...

Oh I used up my noise-tolerance battery a long time ago! That's why I'm glad our house has two storeys--I can just send the kids (and their friends) upstairs to play if it's too hot outside.
But our car has no radio or tape player so my drives are very silent & dusty, punctuated only by the sound of me yelling at other drivers and Elliot saying, "Mom? Do you have to yell at everyone?"

MarillaAnne said...

sigh ... i'm off to find me a 30's 40's internet radio station ... totally inspired!