This morning I drove my daughter to school in complete silence. She was in a bad mood. I thought about asking her why but it seemed kind of obvious.
She’s in high school.
It’s 7:20 AM.
I’m her mom.
I put the radio on in an attempt to break the silence and Tracy Chapman’s song “Fast Car” was playing. One of my favorites that I forgot about until this morning.
“… City lights lay out before us
… your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder
… I had a feeling I could be someone.”
I had an urge to sing out the chorus good and loud I like did when I was young and driving in the car with my girlfriends, but we both stayed quiet. Still the music was jumping out at me. I hummed a little, and this didn’t seem to annoy her so I ventured a little further and oh so quietly sang along for the last few lines. Still no complaining.
As soon as the song ended, I said “I used to love that song.”
She said, “why.”
“It’s a great song!” I said.
“Did you listen to the lyrics mom? Her dad was a drunk and she gave up her life to take care of him and then she fell in love with a drunk and now all she wants is for him to drive away and leave her alone!”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“Are you kidding” she said? She didn’t look at me but I could feel the look.. the kind that only comes between teenagers and their parents.
So I came home and looked up the lyrics to the song. She was right, it is a sad story but what if hid did drive away… and then who knows what might have happened!
I still love that song, and Tracy, and my daughter to whom I owe a thank you for teaching me again that if I can figure out how to navigate the awkward silences, I might learn something.
I wanted to share a T.C. video with you but I can’t pick one so here’s a bunch Tracy Chapman Official Videos
And here’s the one that reminds me that every day is another chance to get it right.