My mother was and still is “cool”! In every sense of the word! And it isn’t because she let us do what we wanted, let us get away with bad behavior, nor gave us everything we wanted while we were growing up. No. She didn’t do any of that.
It was because she liked to have a good time and created a lot of fun times when we were kids. Music was a huge part of our lives.
Before we were old enough to go to school, there were many days when Mom, being a stay-at-home mother, would blare that big livingroom stereo while doing housework, or laying in the sun while my brother and I played outside.
I can remember when I was four years old, on the nights our military Dad had night duty on the base, I’d wake up and hear the music in the living room. I got up one night and found Mom dancing, and she looked like she was having a ball! The living room was dark, with only the glow of the light from the stereo. I joined her, and we both danced together.
I also remember her lifting me into her arms and singing to me when I was scared, during a bad storm and when the power went out due to the lightning. She would also sing to us at bedtime, or she’d read us a story.
When we got older, and she’d take us to school in the morning, she’d blare the music loud, and we’d jam the whole way to school! And when we’d pull in front of the school with the music playing so loud the kids hanging outside could hear, we’d get looks of approval as we got out of the car to go to class. Every morning, it was like a big party inside our car!
If the music was fast and upbeat, my siblings and I would bob our heads to the music. Our shoulders also bobbed up and down to the beat while riding down the road. Though you couldn’t dance while sitting in a car, there was plenty of toe-tapping and knee-slapping! The music was so good; you couldn’t help but move somehow!
My mother was very much into the same music kids our age liked. Having been only sixteen when I was born, she was still young when I entered junior high and high school, and in those days, the music was much safer for kids to listen to than today. You didn’t have all the profanity, violence, and hot-buttered sex in music back then. I miss those days!
In the ’70s and ’80s, music was music parents weren’t afraid to let their kids listen to. What smut there was in songs back then was mostly innuendo that went over the heads of most kids under sixteen.
In the evenings, Mom would pull into the driveway after work with the windows down. As she pulled in, my brother and I would be playing ball in the street with the neighborhood kids. We would hear the music so loud and so clear that our friends would look at us with a mixture of astonishment and pride as say, “Oh, man! Your mom is so cool!”
My brother and I could only beam with pride.
As we got older, Mom kept to her routine of having her music time almost every night after we’d go to bed. However, when I got into my teens, sleep became more of a priority, and waking up to loud music wasn’t as fun as it’d been before. Before I turned thirteen, I enjoyed it and would lay in bed and silently enjoy the tunes coming from down the hall.
After thirteen, I’d get upset, knowing I had to be up for school in the morning, and I was not a morning person back then. When Mom knew she’d awoken me, she’d turn the music off even if she didn’t want to.
I look back now and can’t help but feel remorse for being upset. I realize now that after we kids went to bed was Mom’s “me-time,” and when she got her music fix most days- it was a time when she could let loose and dance. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve understood and cut her some slack.
But being a kid, you don’t realize things like these. Such knowledge doesn’t come until you’re older and have kids of your own.
Music was such a big part of our lives that we listened to the stereo more than we watched TV. And now, anytime I hear a great song from these days, I have to turn it up like Mom did because it brings back such beautiful memories- memories that I’ll always cherish and keep close to my heart!
You only get one Mom, and I thank God every day for placing me with such “a cool Mom!”
I love you, Mom! Words can never express the depth of my appreciation! I could never be half the woman you are and don’t know where I’d be without your guidance and love! Know that you. Are. LOVED! And more than you’ll ever know!