Mom and daughter were having words. Mostly mom, daughter making faces with some negative teen body language. And then, as the routine goes, daughter turns her back and flees into the privacy of her room, slamming the door. See every teen drama and family sitcom ever made.
I’m parked in my “corner” at end of the couch. The dog is on my left and a lamp lit pile of half read books and electronic charge cords on my right. Admittedly, I used to spend too much time there, thus the slightly negative connotation to the term applied by my wife. It’s still my go to spot when I need a break to read or chill.
Just before the teen reaches her doorway, with the desire to contribute to the situation in some positive way, I interject a non-sequitur. “What are you going to be for Halloween?” There’s a hitch in her stride as the words impact. As the door is slamming the answer comes.
“I don’t know!”
I must elevate the volume of my voice now. “Want to know what I’m going to be?”
I hear “No!” shouted back through the door. I know her. Curiosity will eventually win out. Less than thirty seconds pass. I see a shadow under her door frame as she approaches it from the other side. Then it opens just enough for her face to appear. There is still irritation in her voice, but it has lessened. “What?”
I clear my throat, say “I’m going to be a” and then sing badly, altering the lyrics slightly to fit my need. “Luh Luh lonely vampire, So out of place, But I’m trying to be cool for one night.” There is a momentary struggle as her face fights itself to stay angry, and can’t, as a huge smile takes over and her eyes sparkle. The face disappears as the door closes again, and a few moments later I hear Weathers music begin to play.
Much as I did (and still do) with my older daughter, I share a bond through music with my teen. Only a week prior I had taken her to see a band whose music we had discovered together, over the summer. I wrote about Badflower in a previous blog post here. This time around, Badflower was the headliner, and one of the openers was Weathers – who neither of us had ever heard of. But they were fantastic live. They made an immediate impression, and we bought their music the next day.
We listen together on our morning commutes. It’s a way for us to make them less painful… almost enjoyable. And it forges a bond through positive shared experiences.
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