Monday, August 31, 2015

Debussy and Baseball

Backstory: Sam, a baseball guy, is not a classical music fan. I, a classical music lover, struggle to understand his game.  It wouldn't appear that we have much in common. 

Except that he is my huge fan, and I am his.  

In honor of his 21st birthday, I am posting one of my favorite "Sam" stories.  Happy birthday, Sam. Thank you for teaching me one of the biggest rules for a successful life:  You have to be at bat to score.


From 2011
I listen to classical music in the car which, Sam says, makes his ears bleed. It’s kind of a dance. We get in the car. I turn on "Classical New England". Sam groans and changes the station. I hear “Ridin’ Solo,” and change the station again. Then I make a ridiculous, fictional statement about a pop celebrity, preferably a rap star.
“Did you know that Little Wayne –”
“Lil.”

“Did you know that Little Wayne and the one he went to jail with, the one with a T in his name. Mr. T – "
“T.I. And they didn't go to jail together."
“Did you know they both grew up listening to classical music?”
“That’s not true.”
“It’s true. I read it on Rhapsody. And did you know that Lady Gaga went to medical school?”
“That’s not true.”
“You’re right. She went to Julliard.”

He changes the station to JYY and looks out the window, and I turn the station back to classical and tell him if he listened for just two minutes he’d be a fan, and he tells me you can’t do that because with a classical music station, there’s so much silence before and after the song, when nobody says or does anything, you don’t even know if the radio is on which is why it makes his ears bleed and he switches the station to 94.1 where they play California Gurls once every twenty-five minutes. I ask a question like, “Do they spell Girls with a “u” because of copyright issues with the Beach Boys?” He looks at me as though he's not sure we know each other. 

And yet, if he dominates the radio in the car, he’s made no attempt to change the station in the house, where classical music plays 24/7. 

At dinner one night, he looked up and said, “I like this one. What is it?”
“Claire de Lune by Debussy,” I said.
He nodded thoughtfully, then told me something about baseball which I understood after he drew diagrams on the back of many envelopes.

Now that Sam has a license and a vehicle, we’re rarely in the car together and I can listen to as much classical music as I want. Every so often, I feel the tug that comes with knowing my last child is home for only a year plus. When that happens, I scan the radio stations or turn to a disc Sam left behind, select one of his favorites, and listen until the light changes.

Maybe someday, a year and change from now, when he’s far away, Sam will feel a similar kind of tug and if he’s alone, maybe he’ll listen to a classical music station until the light changes and if he’s lucky, maybe he’ll hear Clair de Lune and remember that it’s Debussy. 

Probably he won’t remember the Debussy part. But maybe, soon after this happens, he’ll call home to talk about baseball.

And I will take notes, and remember all I can.

11 comments:

  1. sallnesiOkay, once again with the tissues!
    DAW

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  2. O Susan, you've nailed another way big parenting moment.

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  3. Oh, you. I think I may have saved that envelope, too.

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  4. This classical music fan with a daughter who veers… Not to be like her :-) loved loved this beautiful post

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    1. Thank you, Carla. I love our differences. It's really special, what we learn, isn't it?

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  5. Susan, thank you for posting this today. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...well not in this case. This single post brings back thousands of "picture" memories and great times. P.S. Happy Birthday Sam!

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    1. Well, thank you, mister. And yes, he certainly did keep us on our toes, didn't he?

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  6. I loved this - it brought tears to my eyes. I have experienced like scenarios with my kids. My youngest son just left for college this fall - hard to let them fly...

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    1. Angie, I know that feeling very, very well. Lots of good conversations ahead for you and your boy, I'm sure. Thank you so much for visiting.

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  7. I loved the post and then I read your husbands(?) above mine and it brought tears to my eyes. This is such a lovely moment and I am happy that you decided to share it with us. Happy Birthday to Sam!

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    1. Rena, thank you. I do love this story. That was a great year, lots and lots of conversations like that one in the car :)

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