After the death of Michael Jackson, I had no intention of writing a blog about him, and I still don’t. While I feel bad for the families of the deceased any time a person dies, my emotions did not go any further than this type after Jackson’s death. I hate to sound cruel, but I really didn’t care. I didn’t watch any of the media specials or funeral coverage because I was busy with my own life, and frankly, I was more interested in what was happening to the protesters in Iran and the economic condition of the United States.
Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t hate Michael Jackson, but I no longer had the crush on him that I had had when I was five. I still enjoyed his music, but let’s face it–he became weird, and I lost interest in him. Matt is a better fit for me. So why am I writing this blog? Because Michael Jackson gave me something I never expected.
Last Saturday, the whole family piled into the mini-van ready to set out for our Saturday morning grocery shopping/family bonding time. Before driving off, Matt went back into the garage and began rummaging through his gigantic stack of CDs that he can’t seem to give away. He came in the car and loaded his music craving for the day. I rolled my eyes as the distinct voice of MJ sang out through the speakers. I turned around to look at the kids who were instantly intrigued by the beat. As we bopped along, I double-checked my grocery list against a recipe I had pulled up on my iphone. Matt and I laughed as we questioned whatever happened to Wierd Al Yankovic and noticed how much “Bad” really sounded like a show tune. Hey, we loved it, but at the same time we could both picture these ‘bad’ men walking around shaking their jazz hands. Before I knew it, we were turning into the parking lot. We had to have made record time.
As Matt pulled into a parking place at Whole Foods, I looked at the clock and noticed it was very close to the next time Chloe would need to eat. If I didn’t feed her now, she would inevitably wake up half way through our shopping excursion and let all the customers know that her parents were starving her. I told Matt to go ahead in the store and I would find him when I was finished feeding Chloe, but he wasn’t too fond of that idea. So, as I covered up and began nursing Chloe, we all relaxed in our seats and listened to the music.
It was then that I was transported. I was five sitting on the floor of our tiny den in New Jersey looking into the screen of the equally tiny TV on the floor. Jennifer the Babysitter (yes, we actually referred to her by that title) was turning on MTV so that I could see this enthralling man in a red jacket dancing in front of my eyes while proclaiming, “Beat it! Beat it! Beat it! Beat it! No one wants to be defeated!” Meanwhile in the present, Matt had grabbed my iphone and was looking up the lyrics and realized for the first time that MJ was singing to run away from the fight, not into it. Hannah Grace began learning the words to the song, and since the van was stopped, Caleb decided he should unbuckle himself and crawl into the front seat.
As I noticed this little boy tumbling over Matt’s seat and into his lap, I was brought back into the present. “Caleb, what are you doing?!” I asked as this ball of energy was bouncing on top of Matt. Caleb’s shaggy hair was swatting himself in the face as he shook his head from side to side during his chaotic dance.
I then turned my attention behind me. As Caleb was rolling his head around in weird patterns, Hannah Grace was bee-bopping, singing, “Beat it! beat it! beat it!”. I started to chuckle and tried to take Matt’s attention to Hannah Grace when Caleb, who was now out of control, focused his head movements toward the steering wheel. While MJ was giving it all he had through song, Caleb used his head to express his artistic emotion. Literally. As the intensity of the music rose, Caleb’s head came down with two perfect honks on the steering wheel. I could not stop laughing as my son just beeped the horn twice to the music in the Whole Foods parking lot as part of his excited “Beat it” dance.
Normally, grocery shopping is not a chore that I particularly look forward to doing, but I would shop every day of the week if they could all feel like last Saturday. Having conversation with my husband, laughing at my children, watching the time fly by as we had fun together–how would I ever have known that one CD would create a perfect memory for me? No, Michael Jackson, I’m not going to vote for a federal holiday for you; I don’t think you deserve it. I simply want to tell you ‘thank you.’ Thank you for a great Saturday.