The other night I was playing a game with the family and put on some Loreena McKennitt as background music. My daughter liked listening to it, and then told me about this really cool song it reminded her of. She proceeded to tell me the story told through the song, a bout a highwayman and his girlfriend, and how the soldiers come and tie up the girlfriend, and she can only warn her boyfriend away by shooting herself with a rifle she can barely reach.
When she finished telling me about it I informed her that I not only knew the song, I owned it. It’s a Loreena McKennitt song from her “The Book of Secrets” album. She hadn’t realized who it was, as a friend of hers had sent it to her as a YouTube link. I dug out my copy and let her listen to it.
Fortunately my daughter is not so lost to pre-teenager-hood that she would rather have her hair pulled out, strand by strand, than admit that her parents could be cool. I’m not sure how long this will last, but I intend to enjoy it as long as I can. She’s also really impressed that I play Warhammer, and can do a decent imitation of Dana Carvey’s “Choppin’ Broccoli”.
But then she is eleven. I expect many significant changes over the next couple of years.
My middle son surprised me last weekend. I was putting out fertilizer spikes around all our trees (close to a dozen) while the kids were playing in the yard. Soon he came over and offered to drive in one of the spikes, so I let him. Then his siblings drew him away into their game again. I was just finishing the last two (but large) trees when they finished their game and he came over to help again.
We ended up finishing up the trees together. He joked about how it was like planting dynamite, and I adopted a old miner 49-er voice and started joking about how we were going to blow the place sky high to get at the gold. He thought it was funny and kept encouraging me. We had a lot of fun pretending we were trying to blow up the yard (never mind you probably don’t want to plant explosives with a hammer).
You just never know with kids. Sometimes it seems like they’ve already left you behind, and then next thing you know you’re their best friend. Who knows, if I play my cards right perhaps teenager-hood doesn’t have to put an end to that.