Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peanut Hears The Who

"I'm not trying to cause a sensation. I'm just talkin' 'bout my generation." -The Who

There are songs that come on the radio or my iPod and I will immediately think to myself, "This song would be on the soundtrack of my life." Scenes From an Italian Restaurant by Billy Joel. Lovely Day by Bill Withers. Growin' Up by Bruce Springsteen. I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, it would probably be a 2-disc set. At least. Certain songs just make you think of certain times in your life, or certain people.

In the short amount of time I spend in the swagger wagon on my way to and from daycare for pickup, I listen to one of two things on the radio: sports talk or classic rock. When the Peanut is in the car, I try to make sure we're listening to music.Normally, she's zoning out after a long day, sucking her thumb and staring out the window. But sometimes, we'll talk about the music. Our short lessons in what I believe is essential music knowledge go something like this:

"Daddy is this the song from Megamind? From the part where he beats Metro Man?"

"No sweetie. That's AC/DC. This song is by Led Zeppelin."

"Oh. Because it sounds like that song (Highway to Hell) from Megamind."

"You're right. They do sound alike. That's what we call rock 'n roll."

"You're silly, Daddy."

What amazes me is that almost every time we're listening to that classic rock station (Q104.3 in New York), a song by The Who comes on. Nearly every time.

The Who was by far the favorite band of my cousin Michael. He died in August 2009 after a short battle with lung cancer. He was 45 and the father of a ten year-old son. So when The Who comes on the radio now, we are reminded of a dad who had his parents load two oxygen tanks in the trunk of the car just days before his death because he wanted to take his son miniature golfing. He was hitting his shots with one hand and wheeling around the air he was breathing with the other.

That is the inspiration that comes to mind when me and the Peanut are rushing from daycare to home to get dinner started, a snack ready, Sesame Street turned on, Luna greeted. I'm able to take a moment to realize why I'm doing this, and for whom I am doing it. It makes me realize that I should stop complaining about being tired or stressed. I miss my cousin in those moments. But I am thankful for the lesson he taught me. How to be the best dad I could be.

This past weekend, we were taking the Peanut to dance class. As if on cue, the opening chords to "Who Are You" started to play. Almost immediately, the Peanut began to sing it, without prompting. Without any urging or instruction from either of us ever. "Who are you? Who? Who? Who Who?"

We never taught her this song ourselves.

So cousin Mikey lives. Remembered fondly, as part of the soundtrack of our life.


  1. Awww!! Thats too cute! Its amazing when things happen like that. {{HUGS}}

  2. It's amazing how kids can pick up song lyrics so quickly!!

    LMBO @ "it's called rock 'n roll." "You're silly daddy." hahahahaha

    For Love of Cupcakes

  3. This is a tear jerker !! Had to pull out my tissues for this :)Glad the memory of your cousin still lives on.... Really makes us wonder just *what* we have to complain about when our families are healthy and sound. Thanks for sharing!

  4. It always amazes me how a song or a band can actually take you back to a time or remind you of a person. Your daughter recognizes great music.

  5. This really hit home and I am thankful you share your life with us, my sister just turned 50 and has cancer. I'll be keeping tuned in for more nuggets of wisdom xo

  6. The brevity of life teaches us a lot of things as parents. Sometimes just that today is so short and before we know it, it's tomorrow and next year, and then they're graduating, etc etc.

    That is, if there is anything about death that we can appreciate. Agree with Sunithi. Quite the tear jerker.

  7. Any fan of the Louis C.K. show will immediately think of one scene.

    I love my children's musical taste, and it certainly stems from our own. I know I can't help them from liking tomorrow's "Justin Beibwhoever" but I can certainly influence them into liking some great kids music today, along with a few of our own favorites.

  8. nice cuz...thanks...norb

  9. I missed this. A beautiful post, DKL! I love the emotional connection and associated memories we can develop with a song. It's powerful stuff.

    1. Thanks, man. It really is. And this is still true about The Who and the car ride home. Every day without fail.

  10. That is so beautiful! They are like sponges at that age and theybtaeverything in. Michael was a wonderful father and his passing teaches us that life is too precious to be wasted.

  11. Car time is music 101.. It's important we love classic rock my childhood is the Beatles .. The other day my daughter was yelling mooooooom in the whale of led Zeppelins immigrant song !!


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