Today I was feeling a little defeated (read: utterly exhausted and crankier than the toddler) after an afternoon out with Madeline. She was a well-behaved little angel, but even a lovely three-year-old is still a three-year-old. I think it's the constant use of my voice that drains me. When Madeline was an infant I CRAVED adult conversation - multisyllabic words. I had a nasty habit of unloading my thoughts on politics and theology and global warming on Dan as he was walking in the door from work. But now that she's three, I never want to talk to anybody, ever again. I've lost the will to lecture, to climb up on soapboxes and preach to my husband about things I normally can't shut up about. Most days, when Dan asks me a question, I say, "I can't care right now. Ask me after Madeline goes to sleep." I've also been known to say really new-agey, nonsensical things like "I can't formulate sentences right now because my aura is cluttered."
In the words of Tina Fey in Date Night, (paraphrasing because, very unfortunately, I don't own the movie):
"Steve: Do you ever think about leaving me for someone else?
Tina: No. Never. Not once.
Steve: Really? Never?
Tina (Kate): Never. If I ever dream of anything like that, it's more like...wishing I could go be by myself. Like, get a hotel room and have even one, uninterrupted thought. A quiet room, where I can eat my lunch with no one touching me. And drink...a Diet Sprite.
Steve (Dan): That sounds awful."
At any rate, today I was tired of explaining to Madeline WHY I could not turn around and blow her nose for her while I was driving in Huntsville (something about us dying in a firey car accident), and WHY she was not allowed to double-fisted BANG on the fish tank at the pet store (something about the fish's ears. Which, as you might imagine, prompted more unanswerable questions).
SO . (I'm getting to my point) As we were leaving the pet store, I buckled Madeline into her car seat, and equipped her for the 15-minute-drive with her doll, some chicken nuggets, and a pile of Kleenexes. Then I explained WHY we couldn't watch her Blues Clues from the library in the car on the way home (something about us not being millionaires), and FINALLY I plopped into the drivers seat and cranked the engine.
The car cranked, the radio came on, and in that moment I experienced salvation. The most beautiful, recognizable four piano notes in the history of music. (I'm sure that's not quite true, but it felt true this afternoon.)
Madeline did not ask one single question during the four minutes it was on the air, which leads me to believe that this song has actual magical powers. It is a bringer of peace and silence and okay-ness. *Exhale*
So thanks, Marc Cohn, for having walked, at some point in your life, in Memphis.