February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day, Vegas.

You may think I’m late but you just haven’t caught the hang of the family yet.  Valentine’s Day lasts as long as it takes to listen to the mix CD you mother gives me.  Don’t worry, there will still be a box of chocolates.  Mostly this is because your mothers would prefer to spend their days lounging in stacks of boxed chocolates.  Vegas, she snatched a coconut one out of my hand yesterday and ate it before I even had a chance to complain I didn’t want it.  And just a word of advice, you’re going to need to move fast if you want one of those caramel ones.

Valentine’s Day even starts a bit early around here – often in October and sometimes even earlier – when we decide what the theme of this year’s mix will be.  Last year, we exchanged anthologies of our lives.  One year, we used the four seasons as our inspiration.  (And yes, there are still four even though winter is sucking all the life out of the other three this year.)  So each year we pick a theme, start collecting music and then swap on Valentine’s day.  It’s better than any other gift she could give me.  This year we picked music for you.

We decided to pick music you should know.  Songs we sing, songs that mean/t a lot, songs that play on repeat in the kitchen, songs that are Important.  As usual, we have very loose guidelines for these things.  The joy in swapping music is that song selection nearly always has a story, a sentiment.  We trade laughter and reasons why and I always marvel at our range of preference.  We may like different music, but there’s overlap and between the two of us we cover just about everything – including polka.  But we don’t talk about that Vegas.  Not outside the house.

We’ve had to adjust to commuting together for a ridiculously short five minutes which is great for spending time with you but really isn’t enough time to listen to our respective compilations.  Sometimes the joy of the gift is popping a disc in to listen and just feeling the sound and intention of the music (we tried loading playlists for each other one year, but it didn’t have the oomph we liked) but this year we listened together in the kitchen alternating songs and throwing in stories to go along with.  Since these songs are for your education, each song has been something we know and, usually, love.  It was fun to listen, sing and dance with your mother, thinking of you and the songs we want you to know.

For me, the best part was our overlap.  Sometimes we picked similar songs by the same artist for the same reasons. And in at least one case, (we aren’t done listening yet!) we picked the same song for the same reason. I hope you eventually laugh as hard as I did at the mix of music we’re passing to you and I hope you let your mother dance with you in the kitchen just like I do.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Vegas.

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