Let’s talk about heartbreak.
More specifically, let’s talk about the time that my Dad shattered my heart by destroying the one thing I loved most.
I was six and life was easy. I was one of the smartest kids in my first grade class (I peaked young,) I got along with my classmates and neighbors, and I enjoyed the simple things.
One of those simple things was my Wee Sing Silly Songs cassette tape.
My sister and I knew all the words. I would gaze out the window and dramatically mouth the lyrics to The Green Grass Grows All Around and pretend I was starring in a movie.
My sister would belt out the words, “I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee! Won’t my mommy be so proud of me? I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee! OUCH! IT STUNG ME!”
We loved it. So naturally, we insisted that our parents play it every time we went for a car ride.
This particular day, my dad and I had stopped past my grandparent’s house for a few minutes to drop something off. We’d already listened to the tape on the drive there, but I continued to beg and plead for more silly songs on the drive home.
To be fair, I suppose there is only so much a grown human can take. Listening to “There's a speck on the flea on the tail on the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea,” on repeat for an entire afternoon is something that the CIA should consider using as a torture tactic.
My dad had had quite enough.
I watched in horror from the backseat as my father slammed his palm against the “Eject” button, ripped my beloved Wee Sing Silly Songs tape from the cassette player and chucked it out the window.Then he revved the engine and rolled his F150 over it. I continued to sit in silence as he stopped the truck, jumped out, picked up the cracked remains and hurled them into the woods behind my grandparent’s house.
This was one of the most shocking things I had ever witnessed in my six years, and my first real taste of betrayal. As far as I was concerned, he could drop me off at the orphanage on the way home.
I enjoy occasionally bringing this up in dinner table conversation to remind my Dad that he permanently scarred my childhood. But I think he realized his mistake fairly quickly; instead of silly songs, he had to listen to me sobbing in the backseat the whole way home.