The Kids Are Alright

Having the kids in the back of the car getting down to Tom Petty is a great way to start a Monday.

Lately the 4 year old has been really into Tom Petty after hearing “You Don’t Know How It Feels” – which he requests by asking for “that song about how I feels” and I understand him completely.

Because he listens intently when we least expect it (songs, adult conversations, commercials for toys we don’t want him to know about), he always ends up having questions that I’m not entirely sure how to answer in a way that a 4 year old might understand.

“What does he mean when he says ‘you don’t know how it feels to be me’?”

“What does he mean when he says ‘some grow cold’?”

Right now he thinks the song skips as I pass over the “she don’t give a damn for me” and “let’s roll another joint” because those are conversations we can have when he’s older.

It’s also fascinating to see the way his brain works when he starts enjoying something himself. I mean, yes, I play the song, but I can’t make him like it. But this one has two features he digs: the beat and the guitar solo near the end.

The beat (bomp-bomp-crash) reminds him of one of his all time favorite songs:

The guitar solo, while simple in the annals of solos but not something I could play, got him to ask, “Who’s that playing guitar? He’s very good.” So good that he wanted to explore other Petty songs and so far he’s landed on “American Girl” as his second favorite.

He likes this one because it’s happier than some of the other songs Daddy listens do (seems I listen to sad music). Still lots of questions – “What was her promise?” “Where is she running to?” “What’s out of reach?” – but it’s something he can dance to in the back of the car and it’s upbeat enough that it gets the 18 month old excited too. And I’m OK with that.

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