Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So sayyeth the 7-year old, "I wanneth an iPod."

I un-boxed my first clock radio at the ripe old age of 10. Before that, it was my parents duty to wake me up and get me on the daily road toward school-dom.

That cheap TG&Y Sylvania plastic-on-plastic radio was my pre-teen conduit to the wonderful world of top-40 music and I can still recall what a marvelous feeling of freedom -- yes freedom, and adult responsibility that beige and orange beauty beheld.

Like "The Jerk's" Navin Johnson discovering his roots while eating a Twinkie and stumbling upon a muzak radio station in the middle of the night, I knew that the music I was listening to, was definitely NOT the newsradio that my Dad listened to on the AM/FM Stereo in the Beauville Chevy Van, nor was it anything near the classical muzak that my Mom tuned in on the Delco AM radio in her '68 Camaro.

No. This was the kind of music that people my age chose as the background soundtrack to their lives.

Soon thereafter, a home stereo system inherited from my recently retired Naval officer Uncle found it's way into my bedroom, complete with direct drive turntable, 4-head cassette deck, 12 slider graphic equalizer, and direct from Japan 35 watt receiver.

For a 40-plus year old guy who still has a cassette deck in his car, less than 10 CD's in his music collection, and a laughingly minimalist iTunes library, my status as an audiophile started out with such promise only to end up as a stuck-in-the-70's-era-still-playing-my-old-vinyl hasbeen.

Now, I realize that my oldest daughter has been exposed to more contemporary music and related media in her 7.5 years of life that I did by the time I flicked on the switch to my first clock radio. And try as I might to keep her somewhat sheltered from the influences (positive and negative) that modern mixed music may have on her impressionable mind, I found myself teetering on a joyful/sadness schizophrenic state when it came time to answer her statement, "Dad, I want an iPod."

Joyful, to be able to share the full richness of experiences that good music can bring into her life...

Sadness, to think that perhaps her taste will run more towards her Mom's music tastes, than her Dads...

Joyful, as she chose an Apple product, although I realize she was probably not aware of the brand as much as the iconic name of the product...

Sadness, as I realized how much of her attention we'd all be missing out on as she pulled the curtain of silence between us with the simple act of donning a set of ear buds...

Joyful, to watch her take yet another step forward in her walk of life...

Sadness, to watch her take yet another step forward in her walk of life...

I was about resigned to tell her that her Mother and I had decided that she was too young for such an expensive electronic device (putting aside the hypocritical fact that she's had her own digital video camera for 2-years now), when the following item appeared in her winning arms the next day...

It's an iPod...of sorts.

Actually, it's an iPod shaped pillow with a built in AM/FM radio and a miniplug that will jack into the headphones port of a real iPod, thus becoming a remote speaker.

She won it at a drawing at her school as a reward for her efforts in a cookie dough sales fundraiser

Since bringing it home and finding an honored place among her stuffed animals and assorted bedtop dwellers, she's never mentioned her wanton desire to own a real iPod.

For now, this fluffy, soft, cushy and officially Apple licensed version is all that this 7.5 year old needs.

Will it suffice until her 10th birthday? Doubtful.

Just wish it had an alarm clock in it.

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