Toby Joe and I have been stressing out about our living situation again. We live in a tiny apartment. We pay a lot of money for a tiny apartment. And the rent is set to go up 200 bucks in December. Between that, the size of the place, and the fact that we’re about to become a family of 4, we’ve been stressing out a bit.
Where do we go? What do we do? Do we pay the extra amount until we figure it out? Do we move? Do I want to move while 8 months pregnant in the dead of winter when our lease is up? Not really. We’re just not sure what to do. We feel stuck and we’ve been stressing out about it.
Em is in school three days a week. He loves it. He loves it so much he wants to go every day and tells me this often.
The school is in our neighborhood. We can walk there in under five minutes. It’s one of the main reasons we feel tied to this area. We are very, very happy with the school. So is our son.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was there picking him up, he came out singing. I didn’t pay it much mind at first because Em is almost always singing something. But it seemed oddly familiar.
“Em, are you singing Bob Marley?” I asked and I hummed a little bit of what I thought it was.
“No. It’s just a song we sing.”
He continued singing it all afternoon. At the playground, he sang it loudly. It sounded an awful lot like Bob Marley. Had he been singing Bob Marley in school?
When we got home that evening, I decided to dig out some Bob Marley. Only I guess one doesn’t really “dig out” music all that much anymore. No. Instead one fires up the computer that hosts one’s thousands of MP3s. One turns on the Playstation 3 (or whatever), the receiver and the TV. (Wait! What was that? I just heard something from inside the closet! Why, it’s the sound of my vinyl collection sighing! And, OMG! What was that?! The dust made my one-of-a-kind, pink-pressed vinyl of Sonic Youth’s Evol cough! And that’s the sound of me sighing.)
I flipped through the list of MP3s and found “Three Little Birds”.
“Emdash, is the the song you’ve been singing?”
I could tell immediately from the look on his face that it was. He began to sing and dance around the room. I sang and danced along with him. It was impossible not to. Our apartment roared with noise and laughter.
Later, Toby Joe came home from work and I showed him what happens whenever you play “Three Little Birds” in front of Emory. Em immediately began to sing and dance again. Toby Joe started to as well. And just like that, the whole family began to move around our small, overpriced apartment.
Don’t worry ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
This is my message to you: The space we call home may be very small. And it’s most definitely overpriced. We may be seen as a little stupid for putting up with it all, but the sound and joy that fills it up is monstrous.
And it’s just gonna get bigger.
And you can’t put a price on that.