Monday, March 21, 2011

Solomon Burke & Successful Parenting

Yesterday evening, I was gathering up CDs I was going to take for one of my regular “trade-in” visits to my favorite independent record store, Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis.

My daughter, who will turn four in May, is my usual guest on these excursions. I told her that on the way I wanted to listen to two of the CDs that “I might trade”. One was an album I’d been given and knew nothing about. The other was a Solomon Burke collection that I’d acquired on clearance somewhere for $5.

You’re probably wondering how a serious music lover could ever consider selling a collection of music by the late, great “King of Rock ‘n’ Soul” (Solomon Burke). I try to keep my music collection pretty tight and I hate having things lying around that I don’t listen to. I’d purchased the album because I didn’t have a Solomon Burke collection, but wanted one. But, for whatever reason, despite my best intentions, I simply hadn’t gotten around to listening to it. I wanted to…it just hadn’t happened.

And when I get the itch to trade in CDs (in exchange for new music, of course), I often make tough decisions to maximize the amount of new music I can claim. If I haven’t listened to an album that I paid $5 for on a whim…it goes into the pile. I rationalize that for no more than I spent on it the first time, if I really want to get back to it, I can find it again on clearance sometime/somewhere.

On the way to Vintage Vinyl, I put in the first CD. A few seconds into the first song, my daughter (again, three years old) says, “I don’t like this…I think you should sell this one.” I assumed she wanted to hurry up and get through these CDs, so she could listen to “her” music (I’d promised she could hear her kids CD if I could check out these two). I told her to just settle down, and once I’d heard what I needed to, she could listen to her music. She insisted that she wasn’t rushing me…she just didn’t think I needed to keep the CD I was playing.

Halfway through the second song, I realized she was right. Into the “trade in” bag it went.

Then we got to the Solomon Burke CD. Within about 4 seconds she said, “I LIKE this one!” We listened to that album twice on the way to St. Louis – and she never again mentioned “her” music. These recordings were vintage soul selections from the 1950s 60s. And she’s three.

About two thirds of the way through the first playing of the Solomon Burke album, my daughter said, “Daddy…WHY were you gonna sell this CD?!?!?!” The genuine incredulity in her voice was humbling.

I’m glad I had her there with me, to save and enjoy what is now one of my favorite CDs.

I figure each parent has their own measurement of success they’d like to reach in the raising of their child. I achieved one last night :)

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