We were driving to a play date this morning, listening to Johnny Cash singing You Are My Sunshine. All three of us were singing along. Scouty, with her beautiful little songbird voice, breaking my heart from the back seat. Every time the song ended, Louisey would say, "Sunshine, my only sunshine," over and over until I started it over again.
I asked Scouty to sing just like Johnny Cash, and said I would harmonize with her. It didn't work out. As soon as I started singing, I only messed her up and both girls would just kind of tunelessly sing the ends of the all the lines. It was beautiful.
I told her, "Scouty, you have a voice just as sweet as June Carter."
It occurred to me that I've always wanted to have a pair of little girls to teach Johnny Cash songs to. To teach about Johnny and June.
"Who is June Carter?" she asked.
"She was Johnny Cash's wife," I said. "And they were so in love."
"Why aren't they in love anymore?" she asked.
I thought about it. The topic of death has been coming a lot, recently. I'm trying not to be weird about it. I'm trying not to make it something scary for them. I don't believe it's something scary, but I don't know how much to say.
"They're dead, baby," I said. "But, I guess they do still love each other."
The thing about Johnny and June is that everything was wrong sometimes, and they're even dead, but they're everything I want my girls to know about romance.
See, I asked Kurt to marry me about one hundred times while we were dating, and he kept saying no. He didn't want to get married. He was too busy being a cowboy.
I always told him, "You will marry me, someday." I knew everything when I was young.
Even when I was pregnant and he was holding a bottle of liquor in a paper bag and I called him a drunk. Even when he was mopping up my amniotic fluid from the hospital floor. Even the other night when I told him I feel like I'm suffocating in this life, sometimes. Always, we've been a romance for the books.
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