St. Edwards Park and an FM Dance Party are Way Better than TV

sketch of Cyprus tree by David Borden
(c) 2013 by David Borden
Ruby and I sat on the river stones in the cool November shade and drew the Cyprus tree.  I showed her how to measure the length and width of the tree using a pencil held at arm's length. "Draw a rectangle.  Find the center of the tree.  The lollipop end of the tree is above the half way mark."

She concentrated on her drawing. I worked on  mine.

Ruby said, "I'm so glad I have an outdoor family.  This is way better than TV."

After we finished drawing and put away our tools, she said, "Tonight, can we listen to records?"

"What kind of music do you want to hear?"

"Rock and Roll!  Rock and Roll!"

That night, I brought out the Soundtrack to "FM"  You can see the trailer at  Bad film... really bad film, but great record.  My copy originally belonged to my older brother.  It was well loved, as evidenced by the broken seams of the cardboard cover and the pop and crackles and one infuriating skip on "Life in the Fast Lane."

LP: Double disk set of the "FM Movie Soundtrack."
Ruby and I danced to a Steely Dan tune.  Boston came on and she stormed the fireplace hearth and sang into a water bottle.  I used a flashlight as a spotlight.  I taught her how to properly play an air guitar.  For the next song she danced with Tamara while I danced with Savannah.  I spun her wheelchair and she smiled.

Tamara said, "I'm in the mood for some Doobie Brothers."

I brought out a couple of albums.  She instinctively flipped the LP over and called out, "Side one, track three."

"You got it"

She sang along with the lyrics on the dust jacket.

Ruby took her sister's arms and helped her dance for a few minutes.  Finally, it was Savannah's bed time.  I put FM back on for Ruby.  I carried Savannah to her room.  Tamara and I worked through the bedtime routine.

"Did you have a fun time with your family, Tweetybird?"

She was too tired to smile.

Still clad in vinyl gloves, I heard the tell-tale stomp/clap from "We will Rock You."  I peeked into the living room.  Exhausted, Ruby reclined on the sofa.  She nodded her head with the beat.

I called out over the music, "I bet you were surprised to hear this one!"

She closed her eyes and rocked out, "This is totally awesome."

After we closed Savannah's door, I sat with Ruby.  She said, "Daddy, when you're old, you'll have to live with me."

"Why is that?"

"Because you'll never give me the record player while you're still alive, and I want my children to do this, too."

Oh, yeah... this is so much better than TV...

#parenting #happiness #family


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