The kids and I just spent 8 hours driving back home from our summerly trip to the Bay Area today. It was 9:00pm, still an hour to go, and although Emi fell asleep, Isaac was wide awake and in absolute mental agony, asking how much further we had left every 30 seconds. I know how it feels to be bored during that last interminable hour of a road trip, so I wracked my brains trying to think of a conversation topic that would distract him while we winded our way down the 405.
Salvation of sorts came when this song came up on shuffle:
"Hey Bu," I said. "This song is from one of my favorite albums of all time from one of my favorite bands of all time, because when I listen to their songs, I feel like they aren't playing music as much as painting music with their instruments. When I close my eyes while I listen, I see shapes and colors floating in space."
(I don't know why I just informed my son that I used to trip balls to My Bloody Valentine. But of course, Isaac didn't know of the context, so he tried it out for himself.)
"Oh wow!" he exclaimed. "I imagined a circle floating into a square, then the extra space it didn't take up flew off and formed 4 triangles, and then they combined into a square!"
I reached back to give him a high five. "Dude! Now that's some good imagination you got there! Tell me more!"
So I had my phone play the entire album from start to finish, and he regaled me with stories involving interlocking kaleidoscopic shapes, the ocean, storm patterns, and other stoner fodder. At the end of each song, we would say "Whoa!" and high-five each other triumphantly. Finally, we rolled up onto our driveway during his description of a cube that turned out to be a present containing a sphere filled with stars, and the stars flew out of the sphere, landing softly on children's heads. I couldn't turn off the engine, I was so entranced by what he was saying.
Somehow I don't think this tactic will make it to any parenting magazines, but it sure was fun introducing Isaac to the aural pleasures of shoegazer movement!