One of Thing 1´s greatest gifts to me is her homemade CDs. She makes them primarily for birthdays and Mother´s Day . The playlist refers to both her and me, offering a glimpse into each other´s heads – or so we think. Sometimes the songs are just for fun, music she thinks I´ll like.
This time it was my turn. I created two playlists, spanning her life. (Unfortunately, one is still in Spain, stuck in a different iTunes directory. So you will have to make do with this one.) Mr. Understanding created the cover art for The Life and Times of Thing 1 and it is spectacular.
Pack Up – Eliza Doolittle. This song is self-explanatory. Currently on the radio in Madrid, I liked the title and it bee-boppy beat. Perfect for anyone you need to send packing. The message is good as well.
Leaving on a Jet Plane – Peter, Paul, and Mary. This song is a song from my childhood and Mr. Understanding´s. We used to sing it to each other when we parted during our long distance romance. A timeless classic.
The Future´s So Bright, I´ve Gotta Wear Shades – Timbuk 3. Straight out of the 80´s. This song is how I feel about Thing 1´s future. Get goin´, girl! I am so excited for her!!!!
Outbound Plane – Suzy Bogguss. Again, the title was important. The message can wait until she is in a relationship. Planes and flying figure heavily in our familial identity.
Straighten Up and Fly Right – Robbie Williams. Flying again. A subtle warning, something to listen to before going to the first party.
Letting Go – Suzy Bogguss. THIS IS THE TEARJERKER. I have played this song almost as long as Thing 1 has been alive and in a twisted way, it has long prepared me for today. Don´t play it if you are going to be seen in public shortly thereafter make sure you are wearing waterproof mascara.. I like to think that Thing 1 understands a bit of mother´s angst just by listening to this.
I´ll Make a Man Out of You – Chorus – Mulan and Donny Osmond. Sometimes I think we moved to China because of the Disney movie. College will make a woman of Thing 1. A mountain top moment for me: walking with Thing 1, listening to this song on her iPod, up through the gardens of Versailles at dusk in the November chill.
Girl From Ipanema – Jobim and Stan Getz. This is the instrumental version, which was a mistake. Ni modo. I will revamp the CD and add the version with lyrics. Any schoolchild in Brazil learns this song and it was the number 1 song in 1964, the year of my birth. This fact, combined with our love of all things Brazilian, made it a shoo-in. it is the quintessential song of Rio and one must learn the lyrics in Portuguese.
Don´t Stop Me Now – Queen. Oh, Freddy Mercury! His voice and music are ones for the ages. Upbeat, this song expresses what I think college and new life anticipation should be all about. Thing 1 is, in fact, unstoppable.
I Miss You – Blink 182. Thing 1 will always be ¨¨the voice inside my yead¨. No need to say more.
Taps: Do you remember those electronic songbooks, precursors to iPods? Mr. Understanding used to tuck Thing 1 in bed and would round out the storybook with Taps. If you have never heard this played at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France, you have never experienced it. It is an experience, a comforting way to go to sleep. ¨¨All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.¨ As a message from a parent to a child, it doesn´t get any better than that.
Today is Mr. Understanding´s and my 20th anniversary. We are celebrating by dropping Thing 1 at her dorm at Johns Hopkins University. Then as a family we are going to listen to Gavin DeGraw, Train, and Maroon 5. Can you imagine such a day? I can´t but it´s about to happen in 30 minutes.