Dedicated to my friend Cindy
I like to wear my Beatles shirt. "Mommy whose on your shirt?" Laura asks each time I wear it. Then inevitably follows the second question asked every time I wear it, "Who are the Beatles?" Together she and I point to each sepia colored face on my under $10 t-shirt: John, Paul, Ringo & George. "What are they doing?" is the third and final question regarding the Beatles shirt, before we are on to more pressing topics like "what's for snack?" or "can I do some coloring?" Hmmm, "what are they doing?" Well, currently the Beatles are stretched across my bodacious tata's but instead of saying that aloud, I settled for, "They were a singing group." To which Laura usually finds satisfactory and goes about her business of snacks and coloring. But today, I decided to switch it up for a change. "Would you like to hear some music by the Beatles?" "Sure!" (her new favorite response to anything good).
Laura and twin sisters accompanied me to my CD cases--rarely opened these days--who needs music when you have your own constant soundtrack? Amid the music of my teenage and early twenties years of angst, was a "Hard Day's Night" tucked beside the likes of "STP," "No Doubt" and "Green Day." As I pried the CD from it's dusty plastic cover, surrounded by fussy babies and a rambunctious toddler, I thought back to the days before my Mom passed away, when the Beatles filled our living room. I often wondered why my Mom, ill and bedridden with ALS chose to listen to those "bowl haired" dudes so much. I enjoyed the songs well enough, but was too young to appreciate the the wider scope of the Beatles revolutionary contributions to music.
When I pushed play on the Bose in our living room, the cranky, tired, and bored aura that previously consumed my domain, began to transform into something a little more peaceful. "It's been a hard day's night...and I've been working like a dog"--Laura began to bounce softly on the couch, smiling from ear-to-ear. "And when I get home to you, I find the things that you do will make me feel alllriiighhhttt," Elizabeth let go of the toy she was desperate to confiscate from Julia and shook her little baby body in time with the music. "When I'm home everything seems to be right--right," Julia reaches up for me to pick her up. I put her on my hip and take her pudgy baby hand; we take turns around the living room together. For at least a song--we were all happy. Something foreign was taking place in my living room--peace. As I spun through the song, switching out a baby from time-to-time, I finally felt mature enough to really appreciate the Beatles' gift to the free world.
No wonder my mom, trapped in a body that didn't work anymore, wanted to listen to those floppy haired men so much. I guess I felt a little grateful for not only the peace in my living room, but the peace in my heart for having the opportunity to dance with my girls--even if only for a single song. "You know I feel alllrriiiggghhhttt!"