I was riding along, singing that same old song when I heard a sound coming from the backseat. I turned the volume down in time to hear my grandson say, “Queenie, your music is old.”
With that, I had to pull over.
“What are you talking about?” I asked my 6-year-old grandson, turning to stare him down in his booster seat.
“They don’t play songs like that on the radio anymore,” Ivan said, sounding like he knew what he was talking about.
“Hey, that was Conway Twitty! I saw him in concert!” I replied, trying to keep the sting out of my voice.
“Is he still alive?” Ivan snidely asked, like he was trying to make a point.
“OK,” I said, with the car idling in the background. “What should I be listening to?”
“The radio,” Ivan quickly replied, pointing to the console.
“That’s what I have on,” I answered back, just as quick.
“No, Queenie,” Ivan said with resign. “The radio that plays new music, not old music over and over.”
Whose kid is this?
“So, who do you listen to?” I asked him, thinking he would say Alexa. Instead, Ivan rattled off a bunch of names like Masked Wolf, Tones and I, and someone named Niko Moon.
“Niko Moon!” I said with a scoff. “What kind of name is that?”
“Queenie,” Ivan replied in a way that conveyed that he was the adult in this situation. “You listen to bands named after bugs and rocks.”
All this from a kid strapped into a booster seat.
“Sing me something,” I challenged this self-proclaimed music connoisseur. “Sing me one song.”
I didn’t have to ask Ivan twice. He cleared his throat and warmed up with a song about a “Dance Monkey.” Then he moved on to a tune about an “Astronaut in the Ocean,” switching out an inappropriate word with a safe one, a slight change in the lyrics probably demanded by his mother.
After that, Ivan finished with another song I’d never heard of, and I am pretty sure if he wasn’t buckled down — I mean buckled in — he would have broken out into his Travis Kelce dance. I listened to my grandson sing like he was on stage, blurring the words he didn’t know, and then, belting out the chorus.
When he was done I just looked at him and asked, “Whatever happened to ‘Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘Itsy-Bitsy Spider’?”
“Queenie,” Ivan said, speaking my grandma name in a voice that resembled his mother’s when she is losing patience. “Those songs are totally preschool.”
How in the world did I get to this place? Sitting in a car with my own flesh and blood who doesn’t appreciate the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Conway Twitty? The next thing I know, my grandson will be discounting The Animals, Queen, and Howlin’ Wolf, telling me they are old news and he just doesn’t get it.
Something had to be done.
Finally, I sighed and turned around to switch my music to a local rock radio station, and, more important, to get this kid home. Immediately, Ivan started swaying to the beat of the music; the best sway you can muster while buckled in a booster seat. My grandson seemed to be very familiar with the songs the station played while I knew very, very few of them.
Perhaps that 6-year-old unknowingly taught me a much-needed lesson that day. I probably should broaden my horizons and open doors to totally new sounds with totally new words and totally new names.
Maybe, I should apply this advice to more than just music.
Having decided, I turned up the music and drove Ivan home, all while he was singing away in the backseat. This kid doesn’t know the words to a single rock ‘n’ roll tune, but these songs, these words, these beats he seemed to have down — which only increased my resolve to get him home.
I totally needed to have a talk with his mother. Totally.
You can reach Lorry at email@example.com.