I'm an old school music buyer. I don't mean the type of music I buy, although I do enjoy my classic rock. What I mean is that I usually purchase the whole album when one of my favorite artists releases something new. I feel a sense of betrayal if I don't buy the entire record. Even if some of the songs are a miss, I don't delete the duds on my ipod.
I distinctly remember fast forwarding through tapes on my walkman to skip songs that weren't my favorites. I didn't have the same options that we have with digital music these days.
Our kids tend to buy one or two songs at a time. It's rare that they download an entire album, or God forbid, pick up the CD off the aisle at Tarjay. Even M didn't rush to buy the entire Justin Beiber album when it came out, choosing instead to pick and choose songs to her liking.
My problem with the "onsey-twosey" approach is that you might miss a real gem. Some songs take a few listens to really appreciate. A great riff or a perfect lyric may come at the end of the song. Listening to the entire album as a musician or band has envisioned sometimes tells a bigger story than just one song at a time (The Decembrists come to mind). Sometimes you need to see the whole picture.
It still bothers me when people make generalizations about the girls and our family based on the superficial things they observe. M smiles a lot at school, which must mean she's completely over the loss of her parents and is happy all the time. E gets good grades and is swimming well, so everything is hunky dory again and she's "moved on" from the tragedy. The boys joke around with the girls and, therefore, are completely happy the girls have come to live with us.
I live with the whole album. The bad dreams. The temper tantrums. The sad moments during what should be times of joy.
I regularly berate myself for not focusing more on the positive and dwelling too much on the challenging issues with the girls and our new family. Just downloading those songs that other people have given four bars on itunes.
That isn't authentic to me. I'm a whole album kind of girl. The rose colored glasses don't fit me. Maybe this makes me tiresome to be around or a debbie downer. I've certainly noticed friends drift away. I have a hard time smiling and responding, "fine' when people ask how we are.
I'm hoping that in the long run I'll find my gems. Those songs that in the moment I wish I could fast forward may become the stories that define the kids, our family, and, ultimately, me in a wonderful way. Heck, some of my favorite songs started out on the b-side.