“A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…”
I am in second grade, sitting in the back seat of my dad’s Volvo as he drives me home from my soccer game. My hair is getting tangled from the wind blowing through the car, but we love driving together with the windows down and music up.
My dad is telling me what a great game I played when the song comes on.
“Elizabeth,” he asks, “Do you know this song?”
“It’s my favorite!”
He starts singing along with Don McLean in his loudest voice, swaying his head to the music. The tempo picks up – he turns up the volume and starts drumming on the steering wheel. He looks at me in the rear view mirror as he continues to sing along. I melt into giggles in the back seat.
The song goes on and on and on and I can’t believe he knows all the words! My seven year old body starts bopping and swaying to the music, I fling my arms open wide to join in on the chorus that I have now learned: “Byyyye bye Miss American Pie!” My dad laughs and smiles to see me enjoying the song he loves.
The tempo slows and we both sing at the top of our lungs as the song ends. I start clapping, delighted. My dad reaches back for a high five. We turn the radio down and continue to talk about my soccer game for the rest of the drive home.
…I snap back to reality. I am in a different car, driven by a friend. I explain what I just experienced – that every time I hear that song, I become the little girl in the back seat.
A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…