When Jordan was little Mel Harris, a wonderful friend, Actress and most importantly, Jersey girl, sent us the most wonderful musical cassette. It was some young man singing 15 lullabys using Jordan’s name. You see these in the baby magazines, probably novelty catalogues and at street fairs in NY. They are personalized songs for children. We have heard numbers of them but none are in the same league as far as quality and poignance. The best thing about this tape was that it came from Kleenex, and you could only get it if you bought enough Huggies or other like products. The cassettes were such nice baby gifts that sometimes I found myself sneaking into supermarkets and clipping the coupon which provided enough points to make the purchase.
"Little Jordan come to bed, close your eyes lay your weary head, on the pillow..."
Other times I was forced to buy the required products and since Jordan was far beyond diapers, I left praying Kleenex would delve into the feminine hygiene area. Jordan listened to it endlessly – as did her parents. And then a terrible thing happened. Huggies stopped the promotion. But luckily, we had copied it four or five times in order to avoid having to replace it if, God forbid, it got lost or damaged or the Corporation found a more lucrative way to suck in the consumer—which, of course, they did.
The songs all sounded pretty much the same. Some started with “Little Jordan lay your head” some exclaimed the benefits of dreamland, and many just said (in any number of lovely ways) OK kid the day is done and you should be as well. David and/or I would get in bed with her and begin to sing along with her lullaby tape, and before we knew it we were fast asleep and Jordan would be begging us to get up and give her more room. Even today when I hear the music, my eyes close immediately and I’m out cold. We would never listen to it when we are driving or operating heavy equipment because it works faster than an Ambien.
Anyway, I have always thought that when Jordan or Seth went quickly and peacefully to sleep, they went to La La Land. In fact, the only time the that LLL was not the immediate destination was when they lost a tooth. Seth despised the Tooth Fairy. It terrified him. So he would leave his tooth outside his room and stay up all night to make sure the Tooth Fairy didn’t come through the door. Jordan, being Jordan, wrote or dictated a lengthy letter to the Tooth Fairy listing all her requirements for an exchange of the precious ivory. Then she waited up all night to see if the Tooth Fairy followed directions. My kids were constantly colorful and remain so as adults.
I have always loved the concept of La La Land. It seems that sending someone to a terrific sleep destination is much more sensible than advising relaxation exercises or short term meditation. For us La La Land was kind of like OZ when Dorothy opened the house door after her near fatal adventure in the sky. But this morning the doctor at the hospital where my mother was taken yesterday, described her condition as being in La La Land. It was a bit off putting, even frightening. And it was hardly a medical approach to describing that she was delusionary, but that’s what he meant. I am praying that my mom’s trip is short and that she comes back as her feisty funny self. But I started to think about an eventual trip to La La Land, one that I might take – or you, and whether I would want make the journey. Or would I rather watch myself deteriorate, be fully aware of the loss of mobility, recognize my limitations, suffer the pain and yet be totally cogent. Or would I choose to get my ticket for a spectacularly beautiful La La Land where all my good memories were in tact, and it didn’t matter if I knew who was coming and going because I was perfectly content to know only that this is where I resided forever. It seems not much of a choice for me. We’re just saying...Iris