Yeah, right, Dad

I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit of an old fuddy-duddy. I’m 50, after all.

Despite my complete lack of understanding of modern youth culture, I do like listening to pop music. It probably doesn’t help that I can’t remember names, although French radio stations rarely bother telling you who or what they are playing. But listening to pop helps relieve the monotony of some of my more mind-numbing chores and makes a refreshing change from the news channels I usually tune into.

Now and again, a song will stick in my head. Or rather, part of it. The lyrics, that is, not my mind.

Such was the case with a song I heard repeatedly this summer, a catchy little number about a woman getting ready to go out for the evening. Her telling of the story would be interspersed with a kind of shouted aside from a backing vocalist; the aforementioned only snippet of the lyrics that lodged itself in my brain: “I don’t take pills!”

The Idiot (thinks) It Is In Charge

You speak your words. 
Yet don’t use your mind. 
You take the lead. 
Yet no-one follows behind. 

You think for others, 
Who are far more capable 
to think for themselves. 

You show them your heaven. 
They see it as their own personal hell. 

You offer your guidance. 
. . . Too close to the cliffs. 
You ask for their hearts. 
So they can be ripped. 

We have all stopped listening 
To your empty promises, your words. 

We have seen through your guise, 
Your falsehoods through your demented verse.

We have cut our strings and set our own course.
You have hurt too many. 
And helped to few. 

Now the only one left in your world


... YOU!


Most mornings, when he first comes out of his room, my 8 year old son finds me wherever I may be in the house. Rubbing his eyes, still clutching the bear blanket lovey he has had since he was born, he only grunts a response to my quiet "good morning."

Then, as is our routine, I sit down and he folds himself into my lap, all angles and bones, and rests there for a few moments, his head resting on my chest. And in that moment, he is as familiar to me as if he were part of me.

The rest of our day, we exist as almost strangers. He's intelligent and curious and prickly and engaging; all boy, full of sports and science experiments. His heroes are Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters. He knows how much TNT is needed to cause a big enough explosion to blow up a cement mixer, what a RPG is. Mom, are you okay if I talk about guns right now? he'll ask me, then proceed to tell me about how a person could save their lives if they just shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand. He knows the numbers of most every football player in the NFL and what position they play. He hates to read stories, but loves nonfiction.