I was in the car–yet again–picking up and dropping off. We were in between activities, just having finished swimming lessons and heading home to change for T-ball practice. It was the end of the day and I was worn out and pretty much sick of being a glorified taxi driver.
The boys were in the back seat talking about something, asking me questions that I was giving the tired mommy answer “uh-huh” to. There was a commercial on the radio for something obnoxious that I neither wanted nor needed. I was just about to turn it off–attempting to defuse at least some of the noise in the car–when a song came on that caused me to turn up the radio instead of turning it off.
I love hearing songs that instantly take me somewhere. This one took me back to my freshman year in high school. My braces were off, I finally had contacts, and I was just starting to grow out of what I refer to as my “shy and nerdy” phase. I was far from being cool or having a boy look my direction, but I was starting to figure out what was cool and what wasn’t.
Picturing myself back at West Mid-High, I started singing along with the radio.
“Oooohhhh…we’re halfway there…ooooohhh…livin’ on a prayer…take my hand and we’ll make it I swear…oooohhh…livin’ on a prayer…livin’ on a prayer!”
And I mean, at this point I am really singing. Loudly. Enough to even make my chatty children stop and take notice. And let me just say, I can’t sing to save my life. I sing at church, but God help you if you’re sitting close enough to actually hear me. But in the car yesterday, Bon Jovi was the man in my life making me smile at a time when I really needed it.
I was never a Bon Jovi fan. I listened to their songs just like everyone else did in the 80’s, but I never actually owned an album or cassette. But I was a true teenager of my generation. I made out to Axel singing “Every rose has its thorn” and worn blue mascara and jelly shoes. I wouldn’t say that I loved the 80’s, but I made it work for me the best I could.
“We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got…’cause it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not…we’ve got each other and that’s a lot…for love…we’ll give it a shot…”
I was amazed how I recalled the lyrics word for word. My boys were still silent in the back seat, making me wonder if I needed to buy a “Best of the 80’s” CD to keep in the car. My singing apparently has some sort of calming effect–my children were mesmerized. They were like the dogs that hear a high pitched noise, caulking their heads to one side with their ears perked up and their eyes glazed in curiosity. It made me laugh seeing them in the rearview mirror, so I kept singing.
“…we’re halfway there…oooohhhh…livin’ on a prayer…”
It was 20 years ago since this song first came out. I’m older, but so is Bon Jovi. I’m now a wife and mother who is too tired to make out in cars. Besides, after spending all day driving around in one, that’s the last place I want to be.