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It's All Coming Back to Me Now

by Tracy Newman
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tracy_charlotte.jpgThe song you’re hearing right now is about driving my daughter Charlotte’s teenage carpool in 1998.  The absolute horror of it.  All I can remember about it was how much I hated it.  Then, today, I was reading through my journal from back then, and come across the following entry. I must have been writing things for Charlotte to read in later years.  She’s 26 now, so Charlotte, this is for you:

Nov. 6, 1998 - Your carpool –

I finally got the apples exactly right.  Naomi likes the green ones, Emma likes Gala, and you like Macintosh.  You make a satisfied sound whenever you bite into one.  Ever since I’ve been picking up the carpool I’ve made sure to have apples for you guys.  It’s been fun finding out the different kinds – Braeburn, Jonathan, Rome, Granny Smith, Golden delicious, Washington, Fuji, Gala, and Macintosh… I’m leaving many out.  We’re all learning.  Remember the day Naomi looked at the apples, and said, “Ew, why are these so shiny?  I’m not eating these.”  You all refused them that day. The next day, instead of just rinsing them, I washed them with Ivory Liquid and water. They were just as shiny, but you ate them.  I feel good when you eat the apples.  I don’t know what you guys eat all day, but at least I know you’ve each eaten an apple.

When I pull into the parking lot and wait for you, I’m so happy to see you.  I actually like picking you up.  I love listening to you guys talk about what so and so did, and hearing you say, “Oh, that’s my song!” to just about every song that comes on.  Sometimes none of you talk.  You’re all tired, or down.  Then the drive is not so easy.  It felt good today to hear Emma say that she likes it best when I drive because there’s more room in my car, and I bring food.  I like being the favorite driver.



IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW
                                                                        
I hate this school. It’s a forty minute drive
Why couldn’t she go to the school nearby?
I’m starving. Why didn’t I bring something to eat?
Why did I wear shorts? I’m sticking to the seat
There’s the volunteer security guard
She’s gonna make all of us move our cars
Why did I ever have a child?

My life was so much easier pre-Charlotte
I had no idea how good I had it 
I’d see a baby and think, “That’s what I need, 
Someone to love who depends on me.” 
Oh, yeah, it’s all coming back to me now

Here she comes, my little bundle of love
In a hoodie and jeans, she’s walkin’ on her cuffs
Her long blond hair is in a mess of corn rows
She’s rappin’ a verse about gangstas and ho’s
She settles in, I ask “how was school?”
She glares at me, ‘cuz I’m so not cool
How did I ever get this child?

I wonder what’s making her so mean
Then I remember the way I was at sixteen
She’s treatin’ me like I treated my mama
I’m getting my share of overdue karma
Oh, yeah, it’s all coming back to me now

If you’re gonna break away you need to
Turn around and bite the hand that feeds you

Be careful what you wish for ‘cuz
When you have kids you’re a prisoner of love
They knock you out; they fill up your heart
They’re your everything, your shining stars
You’d risk your life to protect them and then
They mark up their skin with something permanent
What ever happened to my child?

Why do I keep on suffering this carpool?
Even when I’ve had enough of being the world’s fool
‘Cuz she knocks me out; she fills up my heart
She’s my everything; my shining star
Oh yeah, it’s all coming back to me now

 

Shaun Cromwell guitar

© 2007 Tracy Newman
http://www.tracynewman.com/

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