I will remember to remember to forget you forgot me.
Our two-year old emptied his post-Halloween treasures from lunchbag onto the ground, then looked up at his eight-year old friend for signs of admiration. She nodded appreciatively, then looked over at me.
“I don’t have any more Halloween candy,” she informed me. “We traded it to the Switch Witch.”
“How does that work?” I asked.
“You trade your candy for something that you want,” she explained.
“Is that a business around here?” my wife Becca inquired, beating me to the question.
“No,” the girl replied. “You just leave your candy out overnight on your table, and Switch Witch flies in and takes it, and leaves something that you want.”
“Ohhh…” This was getting interesting. The two-year old ignored this portion of the adult conversation and continued sorting his candy; candy that would likely never enter his mouth, but were nonetheless beautiful plastic-coated pieces to tote around, display, organize, and show off.
“So the Switch Witch,” I asked cautiously, not wanting to tread into Santa Claus-isn’t real territory too deeply, “comes during the night and takes your candy, and what does she do with it? And what does she leave?”
“Yeah,” the girl said. “She takes the candy to her cat, who can also fly, But if he eats all that candy, then he’s probably too fat to fly so I don’t know how he could fly if he’s fat!”
She burst out laughing and kept eye contact the whole time and it made sort-of sense and was a humorous thought, so I burst out laughing too, as did Becca, though hers was more of a ‘burst out smiling.’
The girl continued: “My sister and I make a list of what we want. I got an MP3 player, but I couldn’t figure out how to work it very well so I traded it back to Switch Witch for a phone.”
“Whoa!” I said, and Becca and I looked at each other. This Switch Witch thing is no joke.
“Are you happy with your phone?” I asked. “What do you use it for?”
“Oh,” she laughed, “I mostly just have music on it.”
I am up for a conversation about music with anybody, so I quickly tried to vibe what tunes she might groove to.
“So do you listen to stuff like, uh, the Frozen soundtrack,”
I asked kindly, “…and some of the uhh, Disney ones? That kind of stuff?”
“Those are okay I guess,”
“Is there anything else you like to listen to?”
I asked, preparing myself to be educated on the next wave of kids’ music I know nothing about.
”I really like Modest Mouse.”
I can assure you that if I had been drinking something at that moment, that whatever I was drinking would have exploded from my mouth in an involuntary geyser.
“Modest Mouse!” I casually said. “That’s really cool. I am a fan of theirs as well.”
“Yeah,” she said. “I like them a lot. My parents almost saw them in concert.”
“That is super great that you like them,” I said. “I’ll tell you what: when I see you next week, I’m going to ask you what your favourite Modest Mouse song is.”
“Or I could just tell you today, like right now,” she said without skipping a beat.
I skipped a beat. Eight-year olds are so awesome.
”Or…yeah,” I said. “You could totally tell me now.”
“I like ‘Dashboard.’”
she said. “That’s a really good song.”
“I agree!” I said. “Are you interested in knowing one of my favourite Modest Mouse songs?”
“Okay,” she said.
“A Different City,” I said. “It’s a really great one too.”
“Yeah,” she said. “Also I like Lenka. She’s really good.”
“I do not know her,” I said. “But I’ll have to check her music out.”
“Yeah,” she said. “She’s really good.”
The bell rang, and it was time for us to go in for class, but it was hard to concentrate on anything else. I feel that way every time I have an invigorating and enlightening conversation with an eight-year old on the playground about music.
There is truly so much I do not know.