I haven't seen or used a tape player in years, but there it was. Anika's world looks a lot different than mine did at her age. At 2 years old, she has never seen such a device as a tape player. She still gets frustrated at the play phone with a cord.
After the big find, I immediately went into the basement to unearth an old cardboard box of tapes my husband has been begging me to get rid of for years. I could never do it, though. It was too much a part of my youth.
In grade school, my best friend Brandy and I made a radio station: WGGN. WGGN "aired" songs, commercials, soap operas, movie clips and infomercials. There were dozens of WGGN tapes, but to my knowledge only one exists today.
Not that long ago, an old friend emailed me to ask if I remembered taping Michael Jackson's Thriller album for her. I didn't, but she reminded me that her dad wouldn't let her have the album, so I played my RECORD into the phone receiver, which she taped on the other end.
In high school, all my friends were in bands, who made tapes to promote their music. In college, I spent all my free time in dark basements throughout the Midwest listening to any kind of indie music that would end up in the basement scene.
Give up the tapes? Never. Much of this music never made it to a CD, even though some of it evolved into bands that actually got popular. This stuff is priceless to me.
So when my girls unearthed my old prized possession, I couldn't wait to share my music with them. Unfortunately, my box of tapes was smaller than I remembered. Maybe there's another one in the depths of the basement, but that's a project for another day.
When I looked through the selection, I didn't find many that would be appropriate for my little girls' ears. They'll find that on their own when they are older. But I did find a few tapes that I deemed family-friendly.
So their favorite brand new toy turns out to be my old favorite thing — something I didn't even think would work anymore. They think it's hysterical to flip a tape to the other side, and press the buttons that don't produce a digital readout. Each morning, the first thing Anika goes to is the tape player. And each time she hears a tape "click" at the end, she gives it a skeptical look, like next it just might explode.
Even with just a few tapes, it seems like a new excitement for them each time they put one on, bounce around and giggle like it's their secret toy. But when that excitement runs out, you'll find me in the tape aisles at the thrift stores looking for more.
NOTE: I like to keep organized, so I'm reposting my blogs in one spot. This one originally ran on November 4, 2009.