Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Different Drum

If Peter is the movie buff, Sam is the music man.

He is the one that feels the beat. This was no more in evidence than on our three-day drive from Florida to Washington, D.C. Our minivan, stuffed to bursting, reminded me of one of the short stories in Richard Scary's Busy Busy World, "South American Carnival". Like the jumbo jet in the photo below, our minivan was bloated to the point rivets were popping from steel.

Sam, carefully ensconced in the third row, boxed in by suitcases and strollers, spent most of the drive between a pair of giant ear phones, rocking out to Brazilian children's songs, music from the soundtrack of Rio and The Lion King, and one of his favorites, "I Like to Move It" from the original Madagascar. (Given my sons' love of Madagascar, I am tickled by the thought of some day accepting an assignment to the island and demonstrating to them that Madagascar actually exists. Though I fear it is not nearly as magical a place as depicted in the movie.) 

Speaking of islands, Sam might as well have been on one for most of that drive, walled in as he was by the teetering mountains of suitcases. Elise feared one may slide and crush him, but the worst occured when the long cardboard box with Peter's guitar in it slid onto Sam's head as we navigated a cloverleaf on I-95, playing an off-tune C chord off Sam's curls. 

In Brazil, Sam learned capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial art. Developed in the early 16th century by the descendents of African slaves, capoeria combines elements of music and dance. Forbidden to practice martial arts by their Portuguese masters, the slaves disguised the practice as art, and capoeira became yet another outlet for Sam's love of music and dance. One of his most exciting days at CRIL, his Brazilian preschool, was the day he was given his yellow belt by his master, Tio Chris, then ceremoniously split open his chin in celebration. I saw him a few minutes later at the medical unit, a victim of his own unbridled enthusiasm. 

Times in our family's life can be categorized in periods or eras, according to the song the boys like to listen to loudly on the radio. In Florida, we passed through the Michael Franti-era in which every time we got in the car we were treated to "(Say Hey) I Love You" at ear-splitting volumes. This coincided with the Lady Gaga-epoch.

In Brazil, Pete was especially fond of Flo Rida's "Whistle". And we couldn't drive anywhere without him asking to hear, "Your whistle song?" I happily obliged him when I could, until Elise told me what the song was really about which quickly curbed my affinity for it. 

These days, Sam is really into "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. So much so, he is known to spontaneously burst into booty-bouncing dance much as he recently did in the middle of a recent trip to Baskin and Robbins 31 Flavors. 

The lyrics in this song are rather explicit, as well. Fortunately, there is a "clean" version that garbles the profanity and gives Elise and I the opportunity to sing our own version, "THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!"

As sung, it makes a pretty good anthem. Exactly the kind of music a five-year old need to propel him through the day.

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