Mother-of-the-Groom . . . Forever Young?

                                                                                            Photo thanks to Jules Speyer.

 

Like many teenage girls in the 1970s, a poster of Rod Stewart graced my bedroom door. Mom cringed as she walked past Stewart’s bleached blonde shag, smirk and beer bottle at his side. She didn’t appreciate his unbuttoned shirt cinched at the waist or the Scottish tartan ribbon big as a Texas Homecoming Queen’s chrysanthemum pinned to his chest. When Dad passed by Rod he liked to observe, “He needs a bath.” Who knew after all this time, Rod “Needs-a-Bath” Stewart would give voice to my most intimate feelings on my son, Jake’s, upcoming nuptials?

A week before the wedding, my lovely future daughter-in-law, Olivia, asked my suggestions for the D.J. during the mother-son dance. A panicked Google search ensued. I considered Unforgettable, I Hope You Dance or Hit the Road Jack. Nothing hit the mark. Nothing till I saw Forever Young. Bells dinged like I’d won the The $10,000 Pyramid with Dick Clark’s nodding smile and encouraging applause.

When Stewart released the song in 1988, it added sparkle to his fading star. He later admitted similarities to Bob Dylan’s earlier song of the same name must have sprung from his subconscious. He agreed to split ownership of the song and profits 50-50 with Dylan. Listening to Dylan’s song, it had the right tempo and message for our dance, but it wasn’t right. Watching Stewart’s video — where he cradles his young son in the bed of a pickup — I couldn’t get enough. Teary eyed, I played it over and over ignoring my 13- and 16 year old’s cry to “Make it stop!” I couldn’t stop. In the video, Rod was young. I was young. And every line brought to mind when Jake was young.

Morning drives to the Primary School as he talked of the Cricket Club at recess. This Cricket Club having no ball or wicket but spitting brown insects to the delight of seven-year-old boys. Young Jake who fumbled the ball three (or four) times his first middle school football game. The crowd’s remarks drove me from the bleachers to stand at field level. A better spot to vomit, anyway. Or the Friday night when Jake feared he had a concussion and this mama told him to play. The game he recovered a fumble and ran in to score the winning touchdown over Greene County.

I liked the song well enough when it came out, the year we married. It had a good beat, though it wasn’t easy to dance to. Then in 1993 Jake arrived and I found out first hand about love that made me scream “Slow Down” to teenagers driving too close to a shopping cart holding my infant son.

In hopes of finding a tune with more of a mother-son dance tempo, I discovered Stewart had recorded Forever Young as a ballad. Just between you, me and Maggie May, I thought I’d be disappointed. But upon hearing it, I sobbed. Sobbed as in the-dog-hopped-on-the-bed-next-to-me kind of sobbed. “It’s okay Tebow,” I said giving our black lab’s head a rub. I stopped short of saying, “These are happy tears.” I’m not sure what to call tears when your heart splatters as a ripe tomato caught under the tire of a garbage truck all the while expanding with love to the size of a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon.

Hard to believe these days Sir Roderick Stewart is 72. And heck no, I’m not broadcasting my age. As for Jake, does it really matter how old he is? For in my heart he will remain.

Forever Young.

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8 responses to “Mother-of-the-Groom . . . Forever Young?”

  1. Jerralea says:

    Ah, you brought back memories! My first gift from a beau was a Rod Stewart album! So Rod will always hold a special place in my heart.

    I understand your feelings so well. Although my nest is empty, my chicklets are Forever Young to me as well.
    Jerralea recently posted..July Wrap-Up

    • Jamie Miles says:

      You have such beautiful grandchildren Jerralea. Not that I’ve experienced it yet, but it would seem to bring back all those feelings. With the knowledge that this precious time flies by all too soon.

  2. Diane Bennett says:

    I feel every word you’ve written Jamie! Sniff, Sniff…I have smiles and tears at the same time. I’ve made a note to self to remember this song when Will’s day comes around – great choice!

  3. Gina says:

    Now you’ve started a MOG trend! I am noting this song. You both look stunning. What an amazing day you must have had!
    Gina recently posted..100-Word Challenge: Clockwork

    • Jamie Miles says:

      It was such a blur. I woke up Sunday morning after the wedding the night before and turn to John and asked if it was all a dream. Had such fun dancing the night away.

  4. Mary Balicki says:

    This is priceless! Thanks for letting us in and taking us there. Much love!❤️

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