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A Parental Guide to Morning Smiles

A Parental Guide to Morning Smiles

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A Parental Guide to Morning Smiles

3024 4032 Austin Barrow

A Parental Guide to Morning Smiles

Every morning it’s a battle. What’ll we listen to for the ten minutes it takes me to drive these two little monkeys to school? There’s not much time in the drive, so the decision must be concise.

The battle lines are typically drawn early in the morning over oatmeal. There are few decisions as important as this one before 8AM, with the exception of who will sit in the front seat. Dibs is the current working model of front seat assignments and has worked thus far. My fingers are crossed that this lasts until they begin to drive their own cars, at which time I will just become a complete basket case of nerves I’m sure.

This morning I threw a wrench into the works … Daddy picked the music. I have been attempting to slowly introduce what I believe to be good music to my children. In today’s download culture, there are WAAAAY too many songs that are inappropriate for teenage or younger ears, and many not appropriate at all. I’m no prude, but DAMN.

My guess on the wave of explicit new work is that in an era where radio play is secondary to downloads, you get to say whatever you feel like. In general, this sounds like a great idea, but when looking for my new music addiction, it leaves me with little to be shared on a car ride with the kids.

The debate began this morning while I was filling up my coffee roadie. My daughter (the youngest) swinging in her new swing begging her brother to push her higher and higher was already determined the music selection was hers to be had because he had claimed the front seat. Little did they know, I had already made a selection for them.

For the morning’s education, I picked Counting Crows. I’m not sure what spawned the idea, perhaps a sense of melancholy was on the docket for the day, and I just didn’t realize it yet. We started with the ever-popular and upbeat Mr. Jones, but it was the second song that really sealed the deal. Getting two songs in before I get my little girl to school is a bit difficult as we live very close, but as soon as Colorblind came on, I knew I had them.

The doors off of the Jeep, the wind blowing through their hair, and the morning sun shining through the thin strands as they fluttered … it was one of those moments. You know the moments where you just want to hit pause for a second and take it all in so you don’t forget it ever. I seem to have more an more of these since I have passed the threshold of forty, and it makes me wish I had paid closer attention when I was younger.

People have told me my kids are at the “Magic Age.” Both recently had birthdays and are thirteen and eight. One is just a moment before entering high school and the other beginning to realize that the world is a big wonderous place full of possibility. They put up with their old man pretty well, but I know this patience is fleeting.

A couple hundred feet from the drop-off and the little lady demands a change in mood. We make a shift to The Black Eyed Peas (what can I say … I try) for a more upbeat finish before she hops out and walks/dances into school for the day with a face full of excitement and anticipation.

It doesn’t always work, but the rest of the day seems like it’s full of positivity and potential when I can successfully start their day off with a little joy. There’s something special in finding a way to put a smile on another person’s face, not to mention the face of a child. And the fact that they are mine, and they look at you with those big eyes and smile … wow, how can that not make your day better?

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