As the miles rolled by on Sunday, singing “Parents Just Don’t Understand” with my boys, another memory came to mind that I want to share. I kept looking out the window at the beautiful spring weather and every so often there would be a pond or a creek with the water sparkling in the sunlight. It made me really miss Minnesota.
I love Minnesota. I think it’s partially because Minnesota holds so many good memories for me. Growing up, every time I was in Minnesota I was surrounded by funny, lively people who loved me unconditionally. There are no people in the world that I laugh as much with (except my sister as no one could top her), as I do when my family is all together. I am certain that I would have much better abs if I lived closer to them. 🙂
But back to the highway and Minnesota… as we sang the lyrics to the song and I glanced out the window and saw the sunlight dancing on the water, it brought me back to a moment. I was probably thirteen or fourteen years old, out on a boat with my dad and my sister. We were at Lobster Lake that year, having set up our tent in a desolate campground that made it seem as though the entire lake and forest were solely ours.
I am sitting in the middle of the boat, my sister in the front and my father in the back, and I’m wearing a white swimsuit with aqua blue flowers that I’ve been wearing for two or three days straight now (and thoroughly enjoying that fact). We were out on the lake fishing, and I can see all of the pine trees on the shoreline, and hear the water lapping up against the aluminum side of the fishing boat, gently rocking us. If I try hard enough, I can smell the algae-y smell of the lake water, and see the orange and white minnow bucket hanging in the water on the side of the boat. I’ve got my lukewarm grape Shasta beside me, and my fishing pole in hand. And my sister and I are trying to sing all the words to “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, in the right order, with perfect timing.
This is no easy feat. Two girls just discovering “rap” music (as this was really new to us at this point), trying to get every word synchronized meant lots of laughter as one or the other of us would start the wrong line, or raising our voices happily (i.e. loudly) at our favorite parts. “They left the keys to the brand new Porsche…would they mind?…umm, well, of course not!”
Guess how many fish we caught that day? Probably not many. And how long were we out on that lake? Long enough to conquer the song, that’s for sure. And our dad sat with us, never balking at the noise, never pointing out that we were very likely scaring away any potential walleye or northern that he had hoped to catch, and let us sing our hearts out. If his continuous smile, the shaking of his head, or the way his eyes crinkled with laughter as he untangled our lines every time we snagged them on something was any indication, I’d say (at the time) he thought we were pretty darn talented. In fact, I probably sang even more because he was, I was sure, very impressed by his girls’ singing abilities.
It makes me laugh, just remembering. And his patience that day…looking back, I don’t know how he did it. I sometimes get irritated with my kids just wanting to PLAY their music, let alone singing it for hours on a lake while the fish scramble away to quieter waters and the skin on my nose blisters under the hot July sun.
I think it’s high time for a trip to Minnesota. I want to get my kids out on a boat. I’ll get some minnows, a lot of sunscreen, and a few poles, and set out onto the lake. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be lucky enough to get the chance to hear my kids sing for a few hours on end.
I sure hope so.