Last week, I took my middle son to our local bookstore to meet his favorite author Mike Lupica. Lupica (who is probably better known as a popular columnist for the New York Daily News and a commentator on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters”) has written numerous sports-themed kid books and has become known as “The King of Reluctant Readers.” My son is one such ‘reluctant reader’ which is why we were both so excited to actually meet the author in person.
Although Mr. Lupica is an accomplished writer, he’s also a great speaker–appealing to both the crowd of boys (I didn’t see a girl in the bunch) and their parents (many of which were Dads that were absolutely giddy to ask such thought-provoking author questions as “Who do you pick to win the NCAA?”). There was one statement that Mike Lupica made that stuck with me for days: “Parents, those conversations you hear from the backseat of your car or at the dinner table…those conversations are the soundtrack of your life.” Wow—really? I was thinking what my own soundtrack might be and was hoping it would be filled with deep conversations about life changing events or those ‘after school special endings’ where Mom and Dad are always right and brothers and sisters embrace each other with love. Instead, this is what I have:
Daughter: “I am getting an ‘A’ in language arts. Finally an ‘A’ in language arts. This means I have more ‘A’s’ than ‘B’s’. Whoot Whoot!”
Son #1: “I am getting a ‘D’ in social studies. I thought I was getting an ‘F’. I have more ‘C’s’ than ‘D’s’. Whoot Whoot!”
Son #2: “I know I was on yellow today, but Trinity was on red. Do you know this is Trinity’s first time on red? She cried. I don’t cry when I’m on red because I know the next time I will probably be on yellow.”
Daughter: “Don’t you mean you will probably be on green? Isn’t green the ‘good’ color?”
Son #2: “Yeah, but yellow is kind of my own green.”
Daughter (as she stomps up the stairs with her phone): “Am I the only one in this family who doesn’t want to wrestle in the family room or hear about somebody bleeding during recess?”
Son #2: “It wasn’t my fault. It was his fault”
Son #1: “Me?! You are the one that pushed me into the table and made the pictures fall.”
Son #2: “I know, but you are the one that makes me mad which makes me do crazy things. It’s your fault.”
If my conversations were turned into an actual music-filled soundtrack it would probably include Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’, Mxpx’s ‘Responsibility’, No Doubt’s ‘I’m Just a Girl’ and the Offspring’s ‘Come Out and Play’–each representing a specific chunk of our current state of affairs which includes a son who thinks he will somehow get by with poor grades, another son who has apparently set his own standards and rules for classroom behavior, a daughter who wants to flee our testosterone-filled household and siblings who constantly look to blame one another for their own actions.
What is the current soundtrack of your life?