Dear Ronnie James Dio,
You may be the only person who can help me. As the front man for Black Sabbath, you are clearly a rocker, through and through. And as the man who single-handedly popularized the “devil’s horns,” I need to know: Is it possible to rock too hard?
I’m especially concerned about pediatric rocking – I checked many books on both parenting and early childhood learning, and unfortunately, they did not address the issue.
Ronnie, I’m not going to lie to you: My 4-year-old nephew, Nicholas, takes rocking extremely seriously. When I left his house after a play date recently, he looked at me somberly and said, “Remember Aunt Mandy” before slowly lifting up his right hand to reveal his hand in a little fist, his pinky and index fingers pointing to the sky, just like you.
But that was only the beginning.
On Labor Day, when we were headed to my birthday lunch, I turned on the radio. I hit my presets, declining both a Hooty and the Blowfish yawner and a late ‘90s Sting single. I finally found Paul Simon’s “You can call me Al” and stopped my search.
That’s when Nicholas spoke up from the backseat. “Um, dude, this is totally not rocking.” Although I dig Paul Simon, I couldn’t disagree. I began fiddling with the search button again, feeling a bit pressured to find a tune that would meet Nicholas’ demands.
Phil Collins? No.
REM? Maybe sometimes, but “Everybody Hurts” is hardly raucous.
Pink? He wasn’t into it.
Finally I stumbled upon Metallica’s “Sad but True,” to which Nicholas responded: “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”
Ronnie, that experience might seem cute to you, but he recently told my 52-year-old uncle that he was “too old to rock.” Then, while watching a “Sponge Bob Squarepants” movie, we saw the main character performing a song titled, “I’m a Goofy Goober.” I thought it was cute. Nicholas, though, was a bit jealous.
“I wish I could rock like that,” he told me whimsically.
Any advice on the appropriate amount of rocking for his age group would be greatly appreciated. You may reach me by email at email@example.com or at my office at 724.222.2200 x 2425.
Thanks again for your time, help and expertise in this very serious matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
Amanda “Rock On” Gillooly