Tissues Make Wonderful Earplugs

When you all were growing up, you each amassed a collection of CD’s of your favorite music. Since no one still listens to music on CD’s but me (on occasion), they have been left at my house.

I was originally going to discuss the music of your childhood as a segue to music from my early years. However, once I started going through the boxes here, I decided there are enough memories from your youth to abandon my original thoughts for now.

We had at least two boom boxes in our house, which is how you first listened to your tunes. They were big and cumbersome and therefore not very portable. I was glad when the smaller compact CD players came along, which were so much easier to transport, particularly during trips.

Each CD evokes a different memory. When I saw the Brittany Spears disc, I recalled Kelly’s first concert that Dad took her to—the NSYNC concert in Newark with Brittany as the opening act. This was, I believe, for Kelly’s tenth birthday, on the day before Dad’s birthday—Thanksgiving weekend 1994.

Casey reminded me that NSYNC was the first concert she (and Jamie?) went to as well. They were playing at Madison Square Garden during the summer of 2000.

The screeching sound of the boy-band crazed girls pierced my ears. That is when I leaned that tissues, rolled up in tiny little balls, is quite effective in drowning out those sounds. I made many friends with other mothers nearby as I shared my tissue balls with them.

The O-Town CDs need no explanation. They were Jamie’s birthday concert. It was her fifteen birthday, and we were visiting Carolina colleges for Kelly during the summer of 2002.  It was the second time Jamie’s birthday was celebrated on the road (the 13th was actually spent at 30,000 feet en route to Aunt Linda’s wedding in 2000), so it was fortunate that they were playing in Carowinds, just up the road from USC on Jamie’s birthday. We coud do a college visit and have a fun birthday in one fell swoop (another favorite word), and it was another opportunity to share my tissue-ball invention.

Clay Aiken’s Christmas CD brought back memories of our three years spent in Chapel Hill. All I can say to Jamie and Casey about that move is that I know how hard it was, and I am sorry.

“Relax—Sublime Music for Relaxing and Lounging” brings back those awful five years of Casey’s migraines, which began in New Jersey after Casey’s stint with mono and ended with many treatments of acupuncture in Chapel Hill. Many times she would try to relax with this particular CD.

I was surprised to find a Prince CD. That was so timely in light of his recent death. I didn’t know any of you were his fans.

As I continued to peruse the assortment of music I saw Ashlee Simpson, 98º, Dawson’s Creek, Backstreet Boys, and Spice Girls. There were a few personal ones, such as one labeled “Megan’s Bat Mitzvah” (Ah, those bat/bar mitzvahs years!).

Each disc was a different song, a different memory. But my favorite discovery was one labeled “I Love Mommy.” I am sure you all know who that belongs to. I will have to listen to that one—for sure!

Now you load them on your computers and your phones. There is no longer a physical record or CD for you and your children to know what your interests were. Just like the photos that sit in those same places—your computers and phones. The technology is great, but as means of learning your history, I think it’s problem.

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