My Mother's Tune

I don't remember my mother openly listening to music. She never sings. We had a radio in the car, but for the most part, it was news. My mother held conversations with us kids as if we were adults.

I remember my first mom-related-music shock. MTV was mentioned and my mom in her trademark pearls from Spain and her single sheath dresses leaned forward and said "my favorite video is the one with Cyndi Lauper being blasted across the stage in a garbage can, Money Changes Everything."

My mouth hung open. She had managed to rock and shock me on Guam.

She did it again in Germany when I was on Easter holidays. She picked up a cd of Simply Red and said, "this is my favorite album. Do you know him?"

I wasn't sure she knew who he was. She spoke in a familiarity that matched sentences like "the Lawsons are coming for dinner next week." She mentioned one song in particular because of the lyrics she liked.

I shouldn't have been so shocked. If I had only remembered her watching a woman sing on tv in rapt attention when I was seven: Tina Turner.

I didn't know until a few years ago she spent time out West, where extravagant dinner shows were an evening staple. On any given night, she could see Nat King Cole or The Ratpack perform to rapt audiences. If I had known, I would have understood my mom's love of music and live music.

Now my mother is on the internet. She has embraced technology in a way that inspires admiration. I smile.

Then a chill passes over me. Does she like Eminem, too? She does have access to YouTube