I haven’t heard this in at least 15 years I mumbled to myself as I happily sang along “up and away oh what a special day…” Man I cant believe I remember all he words, this is nuts. I seriously haven’t had these lyrics or music hit my eardrums since before I was 8 or 9 years old. So I cheerfully sang along under my breath as the kids strapped into the car seats in back spoke the funny words of Dr. Middos over and over again. It was like I was a kid again, accepting the fact I was driving a mini-van with three kids strapped into the car seats in back while I cruised down the Thruway at 73 mph.
I thought it to be interesting how I haven’t heard this music in 15 years or more yet I not only remembered it, I could actually sing along. It got me to thinking how important it is to implant the right stuff into children’s minds because it actually sinks in whether you know it or not. The lessons taught in a timeless classic like the Marvelous Middos Machine are ongoing, never going out of style so to speak. The Torah lives on my fellow readers as does the Marvelous Middos Machine.
Its funny what kids can do to you. I always say how when I have kids I am going to open up the floodgates when it comes to music, slowly reel them in- so they don’t fall prey to the music industries marketing of teeny bopper trash and so their music icons are people like Duke Ellington and Eddie Van Halen rather than Britney Spears and The Back Street Boys. Yes I know rock stars that do drugs and sleep around are not the best role models- but that stuff is in the closet as opposed to Britney and her goons that parade around the stage like a bunch of crack whores. So any all this music stuff made me think about the kids that I agreed to drive a few days a week. I felt that it was completely inappropriate to play over 50% of my music to them. You know stuff like punk rock, or 80s metal. Uncontested inappropriate, well if it’s inappropriate for them, aren’t I a hypocrite for listening to it myself? Shouldn’t I practice what I preach, or is it simply their ages which I feel is the main issue? These children are not mine and are ages 3, 4 and 5 years old.
I feel instrumental music is perfectly appropriate for the children, but of course I doubt a little girl of 4 years old will enjoy my favorites like Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis. Just not going to happen- and why not instill good lessons in them while they listen to music. Better for a kid to learn that Loshon Harah is wrong then listen to a 15 minute guitar solo from John Petrucci. No its not easy for me, the parent or any other driver but I think of it as good practice for my soon to come child raising days. It helps develop patience, willingness to listen to the crap that Jewish musicians produce nowadays- all for the benefit and chinuch of our youngsters.
If I can remember the words of music that was played at my bedtime, how much more will these kids who are wide awake starring out the windows of a mini-van at H-shem’s creations all around them while listening with open non-drowsy ears to this wondrous music.