The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Musical Memories, Musical Moments

My four-year-old, Cameron is singing my childhood in the backseat: “If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady…”

If today is like most, her next request will be a song that hit Casey Kaysem’s charts when I was nine years old: “Oooh, what a lucky man… he waa-aas,” a song she likes because it has kings and witches. (I didn’t get the last part, either, but it’s the line: “A gold covered mattress on WHICH he was laid..”)

My older kids chime in with their Johnny Cash favorites (“Folsom Prison Blues,” and “A Boy Named Sue”); afterwards, my twelve-year old declares that Johnny Cash isn’t really country: “He’s his own genre.”

“High School Musical” does not exist in our house, but it’s not my proclamation; it’s theirs.

My childhood was a journey across five states in seven years, but I could always count on old friends to keep me company: Ray Charles, the Mamas and the Papas, the Moody Blues, Simon & Garfunkel and, yes, Johnny Cash. By the time I was twelve, I’d fall asleep each night with my AM transistor radio wedged between the pillows, fine-tuning the scratchy dial to decipher “Slow Ride” amidst the whistles and whines of distant signals.

I should clarify that I’m not one of those moms stuck on classic rock stations; I’m more of an alternative station, one o' five point three, kinda gal, always looking for the next fresh voice for our human condition. I don’t mind hearing nostalgia, but music can plant me smack in the middle of moments I’d rather not re-live: eighth grade awkward (anything from “Saturday Night Fever”), to the first kiss one year later (“Three Times a Lady,” as trite as it is true), or the angst of teenage pain (“The Wall”).

Midwesterners by birth, my parents never bought into the whole “dialogue” thing with us kids. I never discussed homework, let alone my romantic interests or social challenges of being the “new kid.” Again. But my parents supplied the music, and music is the closest connection to the girl I was then.

I didn’t realize what a gift that was until I glance into the rear-view mirror and watch the expression on Cameron’s face as she belts out Johnny’s duet with June:

“Save my love through loneliness,
Save my love for sorrow,
I'm givin’ you my only-ness, come give your tomorrow.”

By Kimberley Kwok

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