Tyler handed me his Popsicle stick and asked me to read the (forever and always lame) joke printed on the wood.

“Let’s see, Tyler.” I hold it away and squint my eyes, looking like my own grandmother. “It says, what kind of music sticks with you?”

He waits for the punch line with the most expectant expression.

I deliver: “Taped music.

“What’s taped music, mommy?”

Well, first I would need to explain the mp3 files that he knows so well on the iPod’s bedtime playlist.

And then a step back in time to explain the CDs that once cluttered the floor of my Honda Accord.

And then I would have to explain what an upgrade CDs were from the cassette tapes, with their Sides A and B and the inaccurate rewind and fast forward to search for a favorite song.

And then he can talk to Grandma and Poppa about 8-tracks and albums that were before my time.

I might as well start with the phonograph.

“Taped music is… the old kind Uncle Rob and I used to listen to.”

Someday I’ll show you the mixed tape your dad made for me when I was 19.

(If I can find some antiquated technology on which to play Celine Dione and REO Speedwagon.)

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