01 October 2013


Did you hear that?
The high-pitched whining punctuated by hollow sobs?
Sounds like my daughter's childhood is rushing by at incredible speeds; it stops only every here and there to land a kick at my solar plexis. Usually accompanied by a request for money.
There it is again. That cry, ever-so quiet; yet I hear it in every syllable of the words Carnegie School of Music.

Every time I look down my kid has grown up another inch.
I remember all the giggles gone by. Her laughter was a fountain of youth, making me feel vibrant and alive. Her cheeks, so tiny, always flushed red with the excitement of life. Her voice, so small, carried the volume of great things. As a young'in she was made from sugar and spice and everything nice, as a little girl is s'posed to be.
Mostly sugar though.
So much sugar.

I know you heard it that time.
It was faint, but it had the crescendo of fifteen years of forceful yearning to be an adult.

Such a beautiful girl, that daughter of mine.
Wanna buy her?
(editor's note: The kid just informed me that it is apparently not only "illegal" to sell children, but also "creepy" once they are teenagers. Who knew.)
Such a smart beauty, that daughter of mine.
I could really use the money though. To buy back all the lost time that I refuse to let go of. To repay the gift of a glorious child. To afford Carnegie School of Music.


The tiny version of my teenager was pretty damn hilarious. I kind of wish I had her around now, to sit on my lap like a ventriloquist puppet. I could poke her in the ribs to make her say funny things and we could pretend that the day when she was eight inches taller than me would never come.
But alas, now she pronounces words right and gets all snippy when I make her kneel in public. She corrects my gram'er and does fancy math. Hell, last week I caught her singing all the correct lyrics to a pop song like I didn't raise her no better.

If we're really quiet I think we can catch the chorus. It's just a list of things she wants for her birthday but it sounds lyrically expensive.

We used to walk, hand in hand, down Main Street in my tiny hometown. Her in her Nelly t-shirt; me in my self-absorbed bullshit grown-up false sense of importance. She would make up a song for the moment, for EVERY moment, and she would belt it out. One finger in the air, confidence higher than any note she could hit. She would toss her hat in the air and drop to her knees, her passionate ballad to a cheese sandwich barely registering to my inner-directed attention. I hardly heard the 'musmic' I was so focused on the walk.
Oh, I have excuses. You want a couple?
Fuck you.
Read my other blog.

I sure hear it now.
♪cheesey sandwich, I'll never let you go. Nooooo mayonaise♫

Would you pay for that hit single?
No, really, would you?
Because, Carnegie School of Music.
Act now and I'll throw in "I Like To Color" for no extra charge.
There are times when I wish I had been me back then, but that's before I got to be who I am, so I don't know if I would've known who I was and then where would I be? Damn lost, that's who. 
It's just a shame that she didn't know me now back then.
I ain't afraid to say it, the old younger me was a bitch. I had no idea of how to raise a daughter and I did it in the strictest way possible. And then the brother died and I got cancer and moved to a city 200 miles from home all in the same year. It's a pretty safe bet that the period was as "rocky" for my kid as it was "fucked up like a motherfucker" for me. Second grade should be easier than that, I s'pose. When our heads came above water years later we both spent a time figuring out how to walk on land. It took some time to find our footing.
Plus, eleven year olds are assholes.

We finally began singing the same tune. 
It was an Anberlin song. 

When I looked up from myself, there she was, still singing. With a flute. And a flag. And a weird haircut. But how she plays that flute, it so does make you feel harmony. In fact, nearly any instrument she picks up plays a melody from my heart. 
It's almost enough to overlook the ukulele.

We're going to our ninth Anberlin show on her fifteenth birthday. I hope they play that one song where someone else pays for college.
Stupid Carnegie.