I can start by saying this is so hard! The first time I enrolled in Writing 101 back in June, this assignment really stumped me. And now, I would love to just recycle the post but no, that’s not right.
One song that is meaningful in my life is “Across the Universe” by the Beatles. It was written by John Lennon even though it is credited to Lennon/McCartney. “Words are flowing out like endless rain inside a paper cup….” This song resonates with the writer, the reader, the lover of words inside me. The lyrics flow, glide, pour practically seamlessly. The melody is simple and pretty. It’s hard to describe the feeling this song gives me. Although it really does soothe me, there are times when I listen to it that I cry when it reaches “Nothing’s gonna change my world.” This is a recent development for me. I know why it happens. It began approximately three years ago when my world seemed to spiral out of control. It became a mantra that played in my heart and in my mind on an endless loop. When my son came out as transgender, the world tipped on its axis. Or at least that’s what it felt like. When it sort of righted itself…..well, it never really did… we just got used to walking around with things slightly off kilt. Although I had to adjust, adapt, accept, embrace the changes that my middle child’s transition brought us, I was determined to keep my world, my family, intact. That’s what wasn’t going to change. Well, as you can guess, it did change. A lot. But now I carry that same mantra close to me and its meaning has changed. What’s not going to change in my world is my love for my family- us 7, soon to be 8. We got through some rocky times together and came out stronger on the other side. Nothing’s gonna change that!
The second song that comes to mind is “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. it’s one of my all time favorite musicals. I’ve seen it 4 times. Or is it 5? The song is powerful. Don’t you agree? You know the song. You have to! It’s been everywhere! I took my middle son, Kris, to see Wicked way back before he came out. It still seems so fitting that we both love this story of Elphaba, the wicked witch, and her fight to become who she really is, who she was meant to be and her struggle for acceptance in a world where she was different. When I hear this song, I think of Kris and all he’s been through. He is defying gravity and he is amazing.
Okay, so we’re supposed to write for 15 minutes without stopping and I had every intention of talking about “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon. (Can you guess who my favorite Beatle is?) But then another song sprung into my head- POP. “I am Your Child” by Barry Manilow. This song brings me to tears . Every time I hear it. Do you know it? If not, you need to listen to it. “Wherever you go, you take me too. Whatever I know, I learned from you…” Another powerful song, in my book. When I look at my children- all 18 and older- and I see what awesome people they have become, I don’t puff up and think, “Damn, I did a great job on these guys!” I’m proud of them. I really am. Sometimes I’m impressed with who they became despite my abysmal parenting skills. I beat myself up constantly. Did I do enough to prepare Andrew for college life and living so far away from home? Did I set a good enough example now that Michael is trying to learn how to parent a 5 year old? And Kris. Did I totally screw up by imposing stereotypical gender role crap on him his entire life? This song reminds me that these children of mine were not hatched from eggs or raised in the wild….(although anyone witnessing bedtime at our house 15 years ago might beg to differ) and if I’m so quick to take ownership of any shortcomings, I should be just as willing to celebrate the successes and take a smidge of credit.
At this point I have long since passed the 15 minute writing requirement, so I will wish you a good day and hit the ‘publish’ button.