Zacharie is 10 and a half.
I remember when I was that age. It’s not the kind of “remembering” where I remember photos of things that happened when I was a kid, I actually remember being 10.
10 is when I really start remembering things that happened. I remember my Grade 6 teacher crying when John Lennon was assassinated, I remember doing title pages for my projects on snakes, and Thailand. I remember doing a book report on Island of the Blue Dolphins.
It was the year we moved from Ontario to BC. I remember who my best friends were and having to say goodbye to them. I remember driving across the country, with a few dollars in my pocket as an allowance to spend on fun things on the drive – I chose horseback riding in Cypress Hills Provincial Park
And 10 yrs old is when I start remembering the music. My collection of 45s started when I was 10. And I still have them. A stack that spans from Hall and Oates’ Private Eyes to Lionel Richie’s All Night Long to ELO‘s Hold On Tight and a few dozen more on a shelf in my office.
These memories come flooding back to me as I listen to the music I play at work everyday. XL 103 is a Classic Hits radio station, so we play the big stuff from the mid 60s through to the early 90s. It’s a station firmly targeted at Gen X memories. My memories.
When Joan Jett comes on, I remember sitting in Mike’s house listening to the record while we pecked away on a Commodore Vic 20.
When Queen comes on, I remember riding my bike home after soccer practice singing We Are The Champions. When Olivia Newton John comes on, I remember writing out the lyrics to Physical and passing the note to Laura.
This week, Private Eyes from Hall and Oates was on my rotation, and I thought of Zacharie. I thought of how I much I loved the song and how much he loves songs like Feel It Still, Despacito, and anything by Trevor Guthrie.
Music really does bring back a flood of nostalgia. Certain songs bring back exact time and place memories. For me, whenever I hear Hall and Oates’ Private Eyes, I immediately have a picture of the 45 spinning on my stereo.
This morning Zacharie is sitting at the breakfast bar this morning with a pair of bluetooth headphones on top of the hood of his housecoat. He’s watching some random Netflix anime show that he loves to binge on weekends, and I see myself.
Granted, I was 13 or 14 by the time I got a walkman type device to listen to the radio and play my cassettes, but I remember escaping into my own world. And there he is, present with the family, but adrift in his own interests, slinking away into those tween and teen years where he will build his own identity.
I remember when I was that age.
And then it dawn’s on me that he’s going to remember all this stuff. It’s not just pictures and videos and stories that we tell that will jog his memory, but he will actually remember. The things that are happening him now will truly be the foundation of what he will become.
What Private Eyes was to me, Despacito will be to him.