Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Dream Is A Wiiiiiiiiiiiish Your Heart Makes.....

When your mom and dad are teachers, expectations are pretty high for the kiddos. My parents raised us to take full responsibility for our actions, always complete our homework, and perhaps most importantly, display impeccable manners. I believe my first sentence was, "Yes, ma'am, I'd love another piece of cake--thank you so much." One of my favorite books as a child was a book of manners. Before you roll your eyes, understand that this book was hilarious. It'd describe a certain scenario and give three options of how to react to the situation. It was my job to choose which option was correct. (So as I type this I realize it doesn't sound that hilarious, but trust me, it was.)

As I've mentioned before, my family loved to travel. Always in a car. Always. When your entire family has three months vacation in the summer you go on a lot of road trips. On one of these trips my parents politely told us it was rude to sing in the car. As an adult I now understand that rule is silly and you will not find it in any manners book. But at the time, I put it right up there with "Say excuse me when you burp." Our road trips lasted many hours (and sometimes days) and we always had music playing. But you never heard a peep out of any of us.

Now that I think about it, how awkward is that?!

I also remember riding in the car with my best friend Julie and her family. The entire family would always sing and put the Von Trapps to shame. 4-part harmony at its finest. Yet each time I thought to myself, "Wow, they are all being SO RUDE."

But let me tell you about my family. First there is my dad. He doesn't sing--he whistles. I believe he has a 5-octave range. Then there is my mom. When the big man upstairs gifted her with talents, he went heavy in the math area and accidentally skipped over "musical ability" entirely. You can ask her to sing five different songs and they ALL SOUND THE SAME. I love it. Then there is my brother. He can actually carry a tune but instead spent most of his adolescence ignoring all of us and staring out the car window. That leaves me. When I sang, birds chirped and angels clapped. Babies laughed, the whole bit.

Or so I thought.

But as I was driving to work today, laughing about the ridiculousness of "Singing in the car is rude," I realized my mom made up the rule. By process of elimination, I figured out the rule was made... because of me. Dad and Justin never sang and mom fully recognized her shortcomings. Maybe birds were not chirping but choking? And let's face it, angels clapping sounds a lot like thunder.



Bubba said...

Meredith, I think you're on the right track, but in the wrong direction... ;)

The problem was not that you were upsetting the Audubon Society or the meteorologists - it was that the birds starved from chirping nonstop, the angels got arthritis from continually clapping, and the babies laughed themselves hoarse! :)

Actually, I remember the rule, but I don't know the true reason behind it either.

Do you remember us timing ourselves on how fast we could sing through "skin-a-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink..." or however that goes? :) THAT must have been a long trip for Mom and Dad!

Susie said...

Actually, I think that rule was made AFTER the "skin-a ma-rink-a-rink-a-dink" contest.

John and Amber said...

Great post. This was just like my family. With 3 brothers, we were NOT alowed to sing. And only alowed to talk sports or cars on our road trips. John's family was like your friend Julie's. They sang in rounds... with 11 kids, you can do that.

Jules said...

Woot Woot! Thanks for the shout out although I don't know if I should be thanking you since you called me and my family rude. That's it. We're in a fight and you are not longer my BFF :P


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