Radio Wars

Z. 6 years old. Sits in the very back of the mini-van. Mom. Forty-something years old, sits in the drivers seat of said van. Hallelujah. Song by Heather Williams comes on the Sirius station. Mom turns it up. It’s one of those songs that moves her to raise hands in praise, even in the car. Z, who because of past abuse has to control any and all situations, orders mom to turn the song down. Mom, just as determined to be in control, tells him she loves the song and if he doesn’t want to hear it he can plug his ears. Wrong? Maybe. But she’s been dealing with his controlling nature 24/7 for four and a half years now and is not about to let him tell her at what level she has to keep the radio. Both dug in their heels. Mom singing Hallelujah with passion. Z screaming continuously that she must turn it down, or off, or listen to him. And since she wasn’t, he was just going to ruin it by trying to scream over it. So, for 3 minutes and 59 seconds, mom exuberantly (o.k. maybe somewhat obnoxiously) sang and praised the Lord, and Z screamed his voice raspy. Pia and Al sat trapped, in the middle, silent and wide-eyed, just hoping the whole thing would end. It did end, finally, and mom turned it down, but she had stood her ground. And then the very next day while in the van again, Z barked out from the back like the ringmaster he thinks he is, “Hey mom! You can turn up this stupid song. Turn up this dumb song. I want you to turn it up!” Somehow…he still thinks he’s in control of that volume knob.

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