I’ve got the musical taste of a 14-year-old. This is a good thing, because my daily travel companion is also 14.
We get down.
What’s great about an hour-long daily commute from Friars Hill to Greenbrier East High School is that there are about 45 miles of open road and only two stoplights to slow you down. Couple that with some A-plus pop music, a sweet set of Harman Kardon speakers and just enough coffee to keep your eyes open, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a good time before 8 a.m.
Lately, my travel companion, also known as my older daughter, has been taking advantage of the morning commute to catch up on some much-needed sleep. Usually, I let her doze for about half an hour, keeping the volume low and the radio station on NPR (Just kidding. I keep it on K92.), but once her cell phone starts buzzing with text messages and Snapchats, and she opens her eyes to respond, it’s on.
Volume up, playlist bangin’.
Our favorite playlist is titled “Get Hyped!” because it energizes us for the day ahead. It used to be called “Big Fat Booty Jamz,” but then I decided that was racist and not okay, so I renamed it “Mostly Problematic Jams to Get Hyped To,” but I really hated the dangling preposition. So, I changed it again.
Anyway, our “Get Hyped!” play-list is a wonderful amalgamation of ambient electronic dance music, radio pop, old school and new school hip-hop and completely inappropriate gangster rap.
My daughter gets the best deal in this scenario because 1: she is a fabulous dancer, 2: she has really long hair she can whip back and forth, 3: she can Google the song lyrics on her phone, so she knows every word to even the fastest raps, and 4: she doesn’t have to hold onto the steering wheel or work the pedals, so she is completely free to let loose in all her sitting-down, dancing glory. Oh, and 5: she is freaking beautiful so everything she does, including singing, rapping and dancing in the car, is lit with the glow of youthful loveliness.
Meanwhile I am 1: busy driving, 2: a pretty good, but not as-good, dancer, 3: 40-years-old, 4: sporting a sensible Mom haircut, 5: about 20 pounds overweight, and 6: only aware of about 40 percent of the lyrics, which as a Generation X-er, I am forced to figure out on my own.
But, these challenges don’t stop me getting down in the driver’s seat. As long as I keep the car between the ditches and the coffee in the Thermos, I’m good to go.
I do have one advantage: I’m not too embarrassed to rap all the sexual stuff and I’m allowed to say cuss words, so there’s that.
Next summer, my daughter will get her learner’s permit, and then, a year later, her driver’s license. I can’t wait!
My feeling is, she’s going to be so excited to drive, that even the morning commute is going to seem fresh and exciting to her. So, I’m going to let her drive, dear reader, and here’s what I’m going to do: doze till we get to Maxwelton, then wake up, Google the lyrics to the latest songs on our playlist, and work on my speed raps and sick dance moves.
I figure by then my hair will be much longer and I’ll be at least 20 pounds down.
It’s going to be sweet!
Of course, she seems to be under the impression that she’s going to have her own car, where she will play her own music. Which is fine, except that means I’ll be awfully lonely in my car.
But wait! When my oldest is 16, that means my youngest will be in middle school. Which means I’ll get to drive her all the way in to Fairlea, and, if I’m doing my math correctly, I’ll have five more years of getting hyped with a kid in the car.
I guess I better keep the coffee brewing and my Apple Music subscription active.