When the girls and I moved across town at the beginning of March, we all had to prepare for the transformation of our morning routine. We would no longer be able to wake and bake while sitting around in our underwear and scratching our balls. Shit was gonna get real.
RELATED: Leta recently made a reference to a “meme” going around school about 4:20. I was pouring myself a glass of water—I had to leave behind my built-in water filter at the old house and am now going old school with one of these—and was so startled that I forgot I was pouring myself a glass of water. It overflowed and flooded the countertop and I didn’t even notice because my frog baby had just said four twenty. What I was feeling must have been what my mother experienced when I was 13 years old, walked into her bedroom before school and asked out of nowhere, “What is an orgasm?”
I caught her so off guard that the only thing she could think to say was, “Go ask your brother.”
I DID INDEED GO ASK MY 16-YR-OLD BROTHER.
HEY, 16-YEAR-OLD BROTHER. WHAT IS AN ORGASM.
Not surprisingly, he told me to look it up in a dictionary.
Mormons are super comfortable talking about sex, in case you did not know this.
I asked Leta what kind of 4:20 meme was going around school to determine just how much she understood. Certainly kids her age are not texting each other various GIFS of Spicoli.
Turns out she didn’t know much, only that various kids are saying, “Four twenty,” and then giggling. That’s it. That’s the whole of it. When I was seven, my best friend whispered blow job in my ear while sitting next to me on the bus to school. She immediately began giggling, and when I acted confused she said, “You know, it’s a thing.” Because she had no fucking clue what she was talking about. I wanted to roll my eyes so hard at those kids in Leta’s middle school. Actually, no. That’s not what I wanted to do.
Would you look at this lovely photo of me and my two girls? How have I veered this far off course?
I explained what 4:20 means and why—if any of those kids have any clue—it could possibly be humorous. She blinked so loudly and violently that the breeze from her eyelashes dried the puddle of water on the counter.
“That’s really kind of stupid,” she said. I agreed and told her that it’s the middle school equivalent of a five-year-old imitating fart noises.
BACK TO THE TASK AT HAND.
Moving to this house meant that Leta could no longer catch a ride with her friend to school. And in order to get both girls to school on time every morning, we’d all need to wake up earlier and leave the house 30 minutes before our normal departure time. We don’t live very far away from either school, but there is a ton of traffic at that time of morning and there are several other school zones along the way. Round trip, front door to front door, takes an hour. Given my mental health pre-move and how often I like to punish other human beings—more specifically, other Utahns—with my car, I was certain this would become the most awful part of my life.
Six weeks later I can confidently say that this hour-long commute with my girls is the best part of my day.
When we aren’t talking about what’s planned for certain classes during the day or dissecting what happened in the previous night’s episode of “Felicity,” we’re listening to music. And we’re listening to my music. I’d asked both of them if they wanted to help me make a playlist with songs specific to their tastes, and both of them said they like what I listen to. They like my playlists. I am not exactly certain how I managed to make this happen, but I have successfully avoided one of the most deadly job hazards of parenthood: Justin Bieber.
This morning as we buckled in and I turned on my April playlist, Leta asked if we could listen to “that one song you played the other day, the one about changes.” She said she loves this song, and loves that all the songs I listen to sound so different from each other. SHHH! Don’t anyone ever tell her about Oasis and how they were once my favorite band. I now have a reputation to uphold.
I grinned, scrolled to this song by Antonio Williams // Kerry McCoy and pulled out of the driveway to begin the best hour of my day.