Earworms and coincidences - FamilyEducation

Earworms and coincidences

October 14,2011

In the carpool line at T.'s school yesterday, L. suddenly broke into song. The lyrics were a little catchy, and set to "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz:

I throw my Xbox at my mom sometimes

Singing ay-oh, buy me Halo

"Where'd you hear that song," I asked, curiously. 

B., a boy in his German class, apparently set the entire "Dynamite" song to alternative lyrics (and very clever ones, too), and L. couldn't get it out of his head. He sang the song over and over again, all through the carpool line, all the way home, all through Blockbuster when we ran in there to check on a movie I needed for class, and all the way back home.

I was pretty tired of the tune by then, I tell you.

Later, when he had retreated to his room after homework, I sat with T. at the kitchen table while she finished up her math. She paused at one point, pencil in hand.

"You know Mama," she said. "It's funny to hear L. singing, isn't it?"

"What do you mean?"

"Instead of yelling in the car," she said. "It's funny that he's singing, instead."


I have one of those crazy-neat coincidence stories to share. Years ago, when we first moved into the area and L. had just turned a year old, we rented a house in a suburban neighborhood in another part of town. I was very lonely that year, given that we only had one car, and Scott was off at work all day, but I was especially lonely during the first few months, when we were still getting settled. I used to walk L. in his stroller down the street to the corner where the school bus stop was, just so I could have an excuse to talk with the other moms who were gathered there, waiting for their older children to get off the bus. One of those afternoons I met another mom with a toddler L.'s age. We struck up a friendship and took up walking to the local park one or two times a week while we pushed our boys in their strollers. We'd walk all the way to the playground and then let the boys out to toddle and climb while we sat under the trees and talked. Her son J. was L.'s first little friend, and they ended up being in the same preschool class together when they both turned three. Somehow, after L. and J., started kindergarten, we fell out of touch, and we never saw them again.

A few weeks ago, though, I got an e-mail from the mom, who had tracked me down through the school directory! She recognized me in the carpool line at L.'s new middle school. Her son J. just started there as a 6th grader too.

I asked L. if he knew a kid named J.

"Who?" he said. "What?"

"J.," I said. "He was your best little buddy until you were about four years old."

L. shrugged. "I don't know J.," he said. "I don't remember him, either." I tried to probe more, but L. made it clear that the matter was closed. He did not know J.

Fast forward a few weeks later, to the 6th grade picnic. As Scott and I packed up our picnic blanket I turned and saw J.'s mom sitting on the grass behind us. We spent a few minutes catching up, and then L. appeared with another boy, who I instantly recognized as J. from years ago. L. and J. did know each other, as it turned out; they are both in German class together, and have been happily sharing the same table for weeks now. When I pointed this out to L. in the car that night he said, "Oh J. Of course I know J. He's my friend."

It's such a small world sometimes. For many different reasons, this coincidence gives me a happy, good feeling inside when I think about it.


Happy weekend!