On Halloween afternoon, Johnny and I were driving home which, rumor had it, had restored heat and electrical power. We’d spent a delightful evening, night and morning with Katryna’s family at their house in their power-ful hilltown, and while sad to leave, we were ready for our own bathtub and bed. Plus, we were planning our trick or treating strategy, as Halloween had been officially postponed in Northampton. I had the radio set to our local NPR station, and it was playing classical music, which I tolerate but do not love. Not so with my kids.
“Mama, what is dis music saying?” Johnny piped up from his car seat. I turned it up. I hadn’t the foggiest–something 20th Century, I guessed, post-Prokofiev.
“I don’t know, sweetie. Music doesn’t always tell a story. We’re meant to use our own imaginations and see what they come up with. What does it sound like to you?”
He thought for a moment. “Wabbits,” he said finally.
“Ah!” I said, looking at his cute reflection in the rear view mirror. “I hear them! Maybe some foxes are chasing them.” And at that moment, I glanced down at the dashboard. It was 1:52pm.
Good thing I did that. Next morning, we got in the car to go to a doctor’s appointment and as soon as the radio came on, he cried, “I want to hear ‘Wabbit and Foxes,’ Mama! Play ‘Wabbit and Foxes’.”
I explained that radio is yet another uncontrollable element in our recently uncontrollable life (see New England October Storm of the Century), but when we got to the waiting room, I did a little iPhone research. I found WFCR’s playlist and recognized the piece as Anatol Liadov’s “Baba-Yaga,” an appropriate piece for Halloween. Here it is; see if your little ones find it as groovy as mine do.
I never intended to have kids who liked classical music. I barely like classical music, though it’s growing on me. How strange to have kids shouting at the back of the car, “Play that funky classical music, white Mama!” OK, they don’t really shout that. But you get the idea.
We dressed up for Halloween even though our town banned it, given the downed power lines and limbs of trees that made walking down our street pretty much impossible and impassable. We are: a Herbie the Love Bug driver (inside our replication of Herbie the Love Bug, disguised as a little red wagon), a Unicorn/Pirate/Vampire/Ghost, an unfortunate victim of something Bad, and your author as Janis Joplin.