It was one of those mornings where the air barely clung to what was left of the spring chill and when you looked up at the sky, it was almost too surreal. It was as if someone had rolled the sun into a perfectly bright orange globe and plunked it right in the middle of miles upon miles of blue.
“These are the days we’ve been waiting all winter for!” I shouted over the music and the wind whirling in through windows of my dirty SUV. I took the long way round to his doctors – all the back roads where you get stuck behind tractors, school buses, or old people. My son and I are more alike than not. We need the open road sometimes to collect thoughts, to catch air, to talk, but mostly, to belt out songs as loud as we want.
Music makes us happy.
Adele sang and we did our best to keep up with her arsenal of vocal instruments as I made the winding turns through what will soon become the “stinky cabbage patches”. My son said, “Mama, you sing so pretty.” I literally laughed out loud. He dramatically folded his arms over his chest, taking my rejection to his compliment to heart.
“Oh honey, I’m sorry. Thank you.”
“You do sing nice.”
“You know, one time when I was a teenager, I sang on a bus. I’ll tell you about it later though.”
“Tell me now!”
“No. I’ll tell you later.”
It was true.
When I turned 18 years old all of my friends were handing in their OAC applications (Grade 13 in Ontario) while I was handing in my application to college.
My parents thought I was nuts.
“You’re wasting your mind and talent on college.”
Screw them all, I thought.
I knew what I wanted since I was a kid.
It was right in front of my face and I was never more sure of anything in all of my eighteen years of my life.
I was done following rules.
I was going to do what I wanted.
So, I applied for nursing.
When I got that acceptance letter in the mail, something happened – an inner shift, a rebellion of sorts.
I got a tattoo.
And then I booked a trip to Vancouver.
I went with a couple of friends and we had met another who was already staying there to pursue a career in acting.
When we got there, we had no agendas. We were just a bunch of foolish teens roaming the city streets with a few bucks in a our back pockets at a given time. We visited the fanciest stores wearing shorts and flip flops, bought flamboyant hair dye, false eyelashes, and body glitter. We roller bladed everywhere because it was cheaper than cabs and at dinner time, we ate Zoodles from a can or Mac N Cheese because we wanted to save up for things like white water rafting or most likely, booze.
Then one night I wore a curve hugging dress that my friends made me buy. My gay friend slathered my shoulders with glitter while I drank whatever booze we had left and we made our way downtown on a city bus. I remember it being so painfully quiet on that bus.
For some reason, I just started to sing songs from “The Little Mermaid”.
OK I was drunk.
My friends looked not in horror but in awe. “Kim, you can sing? Like you can sing.”
See Also: They were drunk
None of the bus patrons seemed to mind and some of them even clapped.
See Also: They could have been drunk too
So I just kept singing and I felt so good.
Also: I was drunk remember – but I truly did feel happy and free.
I never sung for my friends after that night even when they asked. Unless we were all singing together.
I only ever sing at home – in the shower, in the kitchen, in my backyard when I’m gardening, when my son had colic, when I’m driving…
It makes me happy.
Now my son does it too.
I love hearing him in the shower or when he’s tinkering with his Legos or shooting pucks. He’s even writing his own song lyrics in his journal.
I truly believe that you don’t have to be an Adele to sing out loud –
If you feel it…
If it makes you happy…