Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie "Stay Young Go Dancing" (Part 2)

(Yesterday's post not withstanding . . .)

My wife is back to work, after being unemployed for nearly a year.

The upside of being unemployed was that she could be home, full-time, with our two small children. The downside to that was that, for a full year, she was nothing but Mom.

If you've never been a full-time parent, I think its hard to grasp what kind of mind-screw it can be to your perception of self.

When you spend your day fully consumed with taking care of your kids, little parts of yourself can easily go by the wayside.

People who aren't stay-at-home parents can compartmentalize a bit. I can be my work-self at work and be treated like an adult, and my home-self at home, where I am fully in service to others. If you're home full-time, you don't get the luxury of being treated like an adult for most of the day.

With my wife going back to work, and me working full-time too, it means we do some daycare now, and because my wife is a school-teacher, she leaves the house first, and I'm in charge of getting the kids out the door to daycare, before I go to work.

My wife has developed this funny ritual. Just a few minutes after she has left the house, the phone will ring. Inevitably, it will be because she has heard a song or a news story on the radio, and she wants to talk about it.

Most recently, it was George Harrison's "Taxman."

"He doesn't get enough credit. That song is amazing. I'd never really listened to it like that before."

But now that she has the forced sanctuary of her car, she takes the time to hear things like George's guitar playing.

"Remember when we used to do this all the time? Hear songs and talk about how much we loved them? I feel like that part of our lives is gone."

No doubt it is certainly obscured. The adult moments that we have these days, are inevitably devoted to "Business," meaning discussions about bills, Christmas shopping, the kids' daycare, problems with the house, etc, etc.

It's obscured, but I know it's not gone.

A few nights before, we were all in the car, and Death Cab For Cutie's "Stay Young Go Dancing" came on.

"Listen to this," I told her, putting my hand on her thigh as I drove. "It's one of the sweetest love songs I've heard in a long time."

She cocked her ear toward the speakers, straining to hear the radio, over the growing cacophony coming from the two kids in the back.

"It's got the line, 'When we move as one, we stay young.'"

She tried to hear it, but the distraction proved to great.

(In fact, to make a long story short, within a few minutes were were pulled over on a darkened sidestreet, so my 4 year old could pee on the side of the road, as she claimed she could not wait until we got home)

A few days later, all of us were together, before bedtime, in the kids' room. Legos and books and stuffed animals and trucks and balls and debris that is the result of a day-in-the-life, had been pushed to the center of the room, as we all tried to restore order before putting the kids to bed.

"I looked up the lyrics to that song," my wife said. "What do you think the opening line means?"

"Life is sweet/in the belly of the beast."

"This is it," I said. "We're in it. The belly of the beast. Life."

It's not always romantic. But it is sweet.

Hear the acoustic version on Youtube.

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