Every year we do the annual pilgrammage from one state to another. 10 long hours in the car playing colour I-spy (the version of the game for pre-readers…its always a green tree they see – just a heads up). Most years I make a little tape to get us on our way – its my own version of the 198o’s mix tapes that my sister used to make. I can still see the lolly pink tape recorder we had between our beds that our Dad brought back from a business trip. Rick Astley was on high rotation when it was my turn, Culture Club was her poison.
When we took trips as little kids I remember my parents in the front seat of a metallic brown Mazda and their little collection of tapes with scribbled names on them. Wings, The Carpenters, John Denver…songs that when I hear now I get a lump in my throat for some reason. Not because Im sad about things but just a reminder of how quickly life flashes past.
The tape I make for my family tries to take into account the diverse music tastes within the confines of the car. Each year it serves as a record of how much older the girls have gotten, how their tastes have morphed into mine, how much they all like a good singalong. I didnt make a tape last year as our little boy was only 15 weeks old when we escaped the city and I was struggling to remember to pack all the four kids into the car which made me neglect my DJ duties. I wish I had found the time.
I listened to the tapes I had made over the years last night. We featured a bit of Beyonce (small people seem to like dancing to Single Ladies??), we had phased out the Wiggles, Eva Cassidy made a welcome re-appearance, a bit of Ben Folds Five to make the kids roll their eyes and I think one year I even had the theme song from the Broadway musical Rent…seriously I worry about myself some days too.
Im sitting down tonight to craft this years version – I think we might be finding some moves like Jagger, a bit of playschool to remind us we are back to that stage again, some obligatory Katy Perry (sans the chat about her recent divorce), a bit of Cat Empire for my balding man and some classic Katie Noonan in Her George days just so I can torture the kids with my singing (hey I might even take it one step further with Adele).
What do you remember from long car journeys with your family? I wonder what our kids will remember about us?