When we moved to San Diego from Los Angeles almost a decade ago, one of the things I was happiest to leave behind was traffic. I also left behind my briefcase and brain cells, trading them in for Brownie meetings and Big Brain Academy, but that’s a post for another day. Traffic has grown progressively busier in the last ten years in this city, and almost exponentially so since we moved closer to the coast. Although we relocated only two miles away from Laura’s school, we must travel down one of the busiest two-lane roads in the county to get to and fro. Everyday. Both directions. Multiple trips. Traffic moves so slowly some days that I’ll look out my car window and see a mom pushing a baby stroller passing by. That’s only a slight exaggeration, but you may be thinking, “Why not walk to school?” In the first place, it is two miles down a congested, two-lane road with no sidewalks or even a bike lane. In the second place, did someone say, “Walk?” I was born in L.A., the city where people drive their SUVs to the next-door neighbor’s house while talking on cell phones. Sheesh.
Often by the time we get to school, I have been peppered with so many questions that my brain feels like Johnny Mnemonic’s, and after drop off I often have coffee with a friend or work out so I can find the secret codes and download. Sometimes on the way to and from school, Laura and I play Hangman, 20 Questions, or I Spy. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all bad. In fact, as mothers know best, a car ride is one of the best spots for spontaneous conversations about whatever is going on in your child’s mind. The atmosphere while trapped in the back seat is like truth serum. On the way home from school, I learn all sorts of details about Laura’s day, from interactions with teachers and friends to news of upcoming events to important facts that might otherwise be lost in the business of overscheduled activities. Information like, “My science teacher from last year looks like she has a basketball under her shirt. She really does. Maybe even five basketballs. I think she’s having twins or even triplets.”
So what do I do while driving down the road to break up the monotony of bumper-to-bumper traffic when there are no questions pending and there’s a lull in the conversation? Why I play Chickens of course! What’s that? Playing Chickens down that busy two-lane with my child in the car? Well, yes. By Chickens I mean, of course, the recent CD release by Buck & BB. See here now, y’all, BB is an old friend of mine, well, she’s not as old as me, but by old friend I mean long-time friend. We met when Tom and I went to law school with her darlin’ husband, and we’ve all been friends ever since. In the Ya-Ya Sisterhood she goes by the name Pam, but in the music business, her name’s BB and she sings real pretty along with Buck Howdy. Now Buck and BB have burned themselves (and us) a mighty fine bunch of songs into what y’all would call a right-nice CD. Now why I am suddenly writing with a bad southern drawl I don’t know. But I do know that I’m lovin’ me some Buck & BB, and Buck & BB wear hats and boots, so I guess I fancy a-writin’ this way about ‘em. Okay, I’m annoying myself. In just plain English, Chickens a very special CD. When Laura and I are singing along as we drive down that congested road to school, I feel like I’m floating in an enchanted bubble. Chickens warms my soul and lifts my spirits, and that’s saying a lot because I don’t even like country music (uh, sorry Buck).*
I have never promoted any products on my blog, but I feel like I’m doing all nine Blog This Mom! readers a solid by providing the link to www.buckhowdy.com so that everyone can order a signed copy of Chickens by Buck & BB. It is recommended by Laura and Henry, who sit in the back seat of my car and sing along at full volume. And so it was that recently, as Henry and Laura were climbing into the backseat of my car after school, I pulled out my cell phone and asked them to speak quietly because I was calling BB. Henry’s eyes lit up and he said in an awed manner, “Wow! You know BB’s telephone number?” It was as though I just said that I was calling Hannah Montana or someone really famous like that. 😉 Sensing an opportunity, Laura piped up, “Oh, yes, Henry. My mom’s known BB for years. Her real name is Pam and she’s good friends with my mom.” Henry said, “Wow!” So, while I had BB on the phone, I asked for backstage passes to Buck & BB’s next show. Seems like there might be a couple of groupies ‘round these here parts, and I’m not sayin’ just who they might be neither.
*Editor’s Note: I have it straight from the cowboy’s mouth, so to speak, that Buck Howdy detests country music too, and, most importantly, that he and BB don’t do it. This is what Buck had to say in pertinent part: “We do Western Swing – which is cowboy music with heavy jazz and blues influences – very sophisticated stuff – and that’s why very sophisticated kids and their parents dig it!” I couldn’t agree more. And I’ve got to remember to tell Henry that I have Buck Howdy’s email address. I love watching his eyes light up.