You Knock Me Off of My Feet*
On the afternoon of June 25, our fabulous friends H and L had plans to take Gabriel and Lana to a baseball game. Said plan had the added benefit that Husband and I would be able to go out to dinner for our anniversary.
As we were pulling up in their driveway to drop the kids off, the news came over the radio that Michael Jackson had died in Los Angeles. We shared this news with H, who is a lifelong Michael Jackson fanatic.
She was distraught by the news. (I don't know that distraught is really a big enough word to describe H's reaction. She was very upset.)
She decided to go back into her house to get some Michael Jackson CDs to listen to on the way to the baseball game, which is how my son, at the age of 9, was introduced to Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, and how, on the day of his death, Gabriel became a Michael Jackson devotee.
Not because of the news coverage, which we shielded him from, but because of his innate love for music, and because of the particular music H shared with him that afternoon.
I think I have talked before about Gabriel, and music. Gabriel loves music. And he doesn't love the music that is on the radio just because it's on the radio (although he does love some of that, too. He likes what he likes because he likes it). We have never played "kid" music for Gabe - we just played whatever we wanted to hear, and some things resonated with him, and others didn't. (He loves bluegrass, but he also loves 80s hair bands...he's as musically schizophrenic as his parents.)
After H introduced him to Michael Jackson, he began playing it ALL THE TIME. He even went on Youtube and found old footage of the Jackson 5.
So when it was announced that there would be a movie with footage of Michael's rehearsals for what was supposed to be his comeback concert, H called me and asked if she could take Gabriel to see the movie. And I said yes, of course.
Which is why, last night, at 6:00, my son had a date. With H -to see This Is It.
This morning, I received an email from H, which I am sharing (with her permission) - because I just have to share it. This is what it said:
About half way through the movie, the footage shows MJ performing Jackson 5 songs on stage. The backdrop is ripped from the past with the big, bubbly psychedelic Jackson 5 graphics behind him. At this point, Gabe is warmed up to this movie experience and is singing unabashedly. He leans over to me and says, "You know. He really was born to sing these songs. This is what he was supposed to do." It renders me speechless. I smile at him, kiss the top of his head and put my eyes back on the screen thinking, "Who is this old soul sitting next to me?"
"How does he get his feet to do that?" (I heard this no less than two dozen times.)
"This is one of my top five songs." (Heard this a lot.)
"Where's the moonwalk??!!!"
Gabe: "What song is this, again?"
Heather: "Black or White. It's a song he wrote about how the color of one's skin shouldn't matter."
Gabe: 3-4 minutes later... "Well, you know it doesn't matter, right? It doesn't matter what color we are."
Upon exiting the theater, we see a older teen male dressed in the red leather Thriller jacket. He's waiting in line for the next show with about 40 others. This cat has a microphone in his hand and is totally playing the part. I discreetly point him out to Gabe and smile. "Man! Too bad he wasn't in the movie with us! I bet he would've danced to the music!"
It wasn't until we walked out out to the car that things turned somber. He was holding my hand and dropped his head. His voice cracked when he said, "The only bad thing is that we didn't get to see all that live...that he's not alive anymore." There were tears. Oh hell, we both got teary-eyed and sat in the car and talked about life and death and how at least we had this memory, this experience together.
Thank the sweet Lord for the search light. Across the parking lot to the right of our car was the big haunted house. They had the search light throwing a huge, twirling beam into the sky. Attention was diverted to "how cool!" the light looked and a discussion ensued as to why it was being used. I was saved by the search light!!
Thanks again for letting Gabe and I be kids together last night. I felt 14 all over again.
All I can say is that I have a sweet, sweet boy, who is such a tender old soul.
*Michael Jackson, The Way You Make Me Feel