Turn Down that Jungle Music
by Suellen Fry
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I was relaxing in a sea of bubbles. The bathwater was steaming hot and I was finally winding down for the night. It was the eve of my son’s 13th birthday and I was reflecting on the past years. I thought of the day he was born-he was less than 5 pounds and smaller than a teddy bear. I thought of the cowboy boots he ran around in when he was two. My little cowboy had grown up and there’s nothing I could do. I couldn’t stop his legs from getting any longer and I sure couldn’t tell puberty to go away, it was making its appearance whether I liked it or not. I can assure you- I wasn’t prepared for puberty when it came to see me 40 years ago and I sure wasn’t ready to see my baby grow up.
I was jolted by a sudden shock wave that sent my body jumping out of my gingerbread scented bubbles. What in good God’s name? The sound of Rock band vibrated through the wall of my son’s game room and permeated the sides of the bath tub jolting my body and disturbing my peaceful bath time which lasted all of 5 minutes. As my hair was standing on end and the bath water shook, rattled, and rolled I wanted to shake, rattle, and roll my soon to be 13 year old boy. Instead I chose to knock on the bathroom wall and yell, “Its 10:30 please turn that down!”
“Only five more minutes mom, please”, Nick pleaded.
“Well…okay but that’s it. It’s late and it’s time to wind down”, I added.
I wanted to soak in my bubbles for another five hours as I realized that the boy on the other side of the wall was not my little boy any longer-he was a teenager. “Oh God, help me”, I thought. “How long is this going to go on?” I heard a faint voice reply, Oh, about 6 more years.”
I snarled as I rinsed the shampoo form my hair. Suddenly I was taken back in time 41 years to my living room in New Jersey. I was listening to Led Zeppelin and I could hear my mom yelling from the kitchen, “Turn down that jungle music”!
Okay, so what’s your point God? I wanted to stir up an argument but couldn’t help laughing at myself. At least I still appreciate good rock and roll when I hear it. And I certainly wouldn’t refer to rock music as “Jungle music”. So what’s the big deal? Besides the fact that my ears just can’t handle all that loud music anymore, maybe I just don't want to let go. Maybe part of me longs for that little boy in the cowboy boots who played with action figures and slept in his power ranger outfit. He would turn 13 in less than 24 hours and that meant another person would be gracing my home. He was already a stranger in so many ways. What was I going to do? Maybe he wouldn’t need me anymore-then what?
As I turned off the lights and headed for bed I heard the words “Mom” from a distance. Nick was calling me from his room. I walked into his room and asked if everything was alright.
He replied, “No I forgot to say I love you and goodnight mom”.
I smiled and was reminded that the boy in that bed would always be my little boy. “I love you too”!
It’s going to be a long 6 years, I thought. This wasn’t the first or last time I’d hear rock band through the walls. I could hear the faint laughter of my Lord as he gently reminded me of a young girl a few years back , sitting in her living room rocking out without a care in the world. “So now what God”?
God smiled at me and replied, “Oh I think you know what to do, they’re called headphones”!
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Have you read the book, "I'll Love You Forever?" I can't do so without a lump forming in my throat. Yes, Suellen, as mother to a teen you will have to pick your battles. But the person you nurtured in his formative years in the Lord, I promise, will reappear. In about 6 years.