Thursday, April 1, 2021

Max is digging '70s music and other stuff you maybe never expected about your child

Weeks ago, Dave and Max were driving around and the Electric Lights Orchestra song Livin' Thing came on. For the uninitiated, ELO was a hot '70s British band, and yes, Dave likes to drive around listening to '70s music. He sang the song out loud, and Max was hooked. 

Ever since, Max has insisted on playing the song regularly. He watches groovy YouTube videos of it. He asked his music therapy teacher to play it on her guitar so he could sing it with her. It's gotten to the point where Dave took everyone out for ice-cream a few weeks ago and when they arrived home Ben and Sabrina leaped out of the car and simultaneously screeched, "WE ARE NOT LISTENING TO THAT SONG ANYMORE!"

Dave is tickled that Max is into music that he loves. It's one really fun part about having children: introducing them to the same stuff you liked when you were young. That pained me when Max was little, because it seemed like we were all missing out. Max and Dave didn't get to play sports the way dads and other boys did. I couldn't take Max to movies or shows because of sensory overload. We couldn't play board games with him (he didn't have the attention span), give him candy (he couldn't chew it), or teach him how to climb the money bars at the park.

Eventually, things shifted, including our mindsets. Maybe there was stuff from our own childhoods that Max couldn't experience, but then, this was a kid who did not lack for interests or passions. He adored the color purple, The Wiggles, DVDs about trains and planes, this one toy that involved pop-up balls, and the list went on. He relished school, his teachers and his classmates. He found his own unique joys, from going through car washes to visiting fire stations.  

The other shift that happened was: Max. As his physical and cognitive skills evolved, his world opened up. He learned to ride an adaptive bicycle and cruised around our neighborhood like any kid. He played on an adaptive softball team. He had adaptive bowling birthday parties. His sensory issues dwindled and he grew to love going to movies and shows. Traveling, too, one of my longtime passions. When we went to London two years ago, Max helped me pick out places to visit and of course it didn't turn out as planned but it was still a blast. 

In recent years, he and Dave have become the best of eating buddies, eager to experience new restaurants together and explore new neighborhoods while they're at it. Max is a sushi eating machine, which isn't cheap but is a thrill because it's Dave's favorite food.  

Max's life hasn't been lacking because of his disabilities—it's life as he knows it, and it's pretty darn great. It just took a while for us to understand that. 

It's a livin' thing.


  1. Love the picture. It's so Max.

  2. I love this! We have so many parallels. And I'm always proud when my son can identify the artist of some "classic rock".

  3. It is really nice when you can enjoy things, including those with nostalgia factor, with your child. And the 70s had really great groovy music. I can see why Max loves it!

  4. Livin' Thing is such an earworm in my brain too. And not only in my brain.

    The other ELO song I like is probably MR BRIGHTSIDE which would be such a Max song.

    Cathy: one classic rock moment [one of my favourite genres along with the hard/soft sort] was knowing NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN at a steam centre. And singing right along with the guitarist. I first encountered that song in the 2000s with Nana Mouskouri.

    Artists can be so much more than the music - like cover designers and sleeve people.

    AV: 70's music is GROOVY as. Even the music which is not so groovy per se, like Cliff Richard. And Kamahl - a Malaysian-Australian musician who has become very prominent again here in 2021. And then Queen - seeing as we're going with British bands which became world phenomena.

    Really wish the Beatles had been together still in the 1970s - Yoko Ono had some fab stuff and of course still does if you love art rock.

    Two recent discoveries include Canned Heat [for a fellow 1970s music fan] and John Mayall [for me]. Mayall had some awesome guitarists and licks that Max and his music therapist might like to explore "in the style of".

    CJ: the bliss of finding and sharing a passion.

    1. Okay.

      Mr Brightside is:

      a]. not from the 1970s - it's from a band called the Killers who were around in 2003-04.

      b]. not by ELO.

      The song by ELO in the 1970s is MR BLUE SKY.


Thanks for sharing!

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