Weekend Recap: Beautiful Boy & The Goldfinch

by Courtney Sirotin on January 28, 2014

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Before I start the weekend recap, I wanted to share a little story from this morning because it was kind of a moment for me. I usually listen to talk radio on Sirius/XM, audiobooks or podcasts in the car. Lately, however, Dylan has been requesting music. As you may recall, music often makes me emotional at kind of an unreasonable level, so I tend to avoid it, but when your sweet little three year old boy asks to hear it, you have to oblige him.

Last Friday morning, on my way to drop Dylan off at preschool, he asked for music. I flipped around on the radio for awhile but nothing very exciting was playing so I put on a Beatles/John Lennon/Paul McCartney play list that was on my iPhone. One of the songs that played was Beautiful Boy by John Lennon. I didn’t say anything about any of the songs we listened to that morning and neither did Dylan, he was just listening contentedly.

This morning, when we got in the car, he asked for music again. I put on Radio Disney and he said, “No Mama! I want Beautiful Boy song.” I was shocked. He had derived the name of the song from listening to it, felt a connection to the song and remembered it enough to ask for it specifically. While he was listening to it, he made a comment about his dada (what he calls Jay) and then said, “Dylan is beautiful boy.” I just melted and secretly cried most of the ride to school because it touched me so much, and I had no relief because every time the song ended, he asked to hear it again.

It was especially moving for a few reason. First, Dylan has been very attached to me and kind of distant from Jay lately and its been a little hard on Jay. Dylan having this connection to the song and connecting it to his father is a clear expression of his special relationship with Jay and I was excited to share that with Jay. Secondly, Dylan has been talking about monsters in his room at night lately and Jay has been going into his room to reassure him there are no monsters. The first part of this song mentions monsters in the room and I think Dylan has made that connection and knows to feel safe from the monsters because of Jay’s reassurance. (Although, I suppose it could have been the song that put the idea of monsters in his room in his head in the first place.) Lastly, this song has always moved me and I’ve cried listening to it long before having a child. Now, having that child, and having that child connect to the song the way I always imagined, is beautiful.

I used to play this song for Dylan when he was an infant and dance around the room with him bawling (I was bawling, not him.) I didn’t want to listen to it and cry back then, but I wanted him to hear the lullaby because it was special to me, so I forced myself to play it. That’s how the song ended up on my iPhone in the first place but I haven’t played it in ages; probably not since he was a year old. I guess what I am trying to share is that it was a special moment for me to watch him make an emotional connection to music in a way he could express.

I’ll close this little story with the lyrics to the song. So beautiful.

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster’s gone
He’s on the run and your daddy’s here
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It’s getting better and better
Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we’ll both just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes it’s a long way to go
But in the meantime
Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It’s getting better and better
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Darling, darling, darling
Darling Sean

Now you can see why I have to limit my music exposure! Listening to a single song can make me an emotional mess for days!


Dylan’s preschool is having a story festival this week and he came home with a Dr. Seuss hat that he wanted to show you.

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And here’s a video of Dylan pretending to be various Rescue Bots in the car. He sometimes has to get this out of his system before he will get in his car seat.

Jay and I also went into Dylan’s class to read books to the kids on Friday. Actually, Jay read and I enjoyed the show with Dylan and Olivia. Dylan appears to be the hugger of his class. I saw him try to give a few of the kids hugs at one time or another while we were there. Olivia politely declined and I had to laugh because its clear she has to do that a lot with him!

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Jay read Happy Birthday Hamster and Hot Rod Hamster and they were both huge hits because the stories are very interactive.

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Here he is getting started:


We went to breakfast on Saturday. Dylan now likes chocolate chip pancakes so we have a new breakfast item to order for him. He actually started liking them by way of plantain pancakes which is kind of amazing to me. I’m going to share the recipe on this blog ASAP!

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Dylan and I kept ourselves entertained by giving ourselves silly hairstyles on my iPhone. Here’s one of Dylan:

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Weird, right?

Later, we went to Brunswick Bowl. It was too cold for an outside activity but we wanted to give Dylan a chance to burn off some energy.

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It was a mediocre outing because we couldn’t get access to a bowling ramp for a long time and Dylan was running all over the place.

It warmed up in the late afternoon so we went to the park across form our house. There was a little boy there giving Dylan bad ideas about jumping off the ledge onto the rocks by the pond. This is a big no-no for us so I had to work hard to manage the situation. On top of that, the boy was stealing Dylan’s sticks from him and throwing them in the pond, which sent Dylan in chase after the sticks and he nearly hurled himself over the ledge a couple times to try to get them back!

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It was a relief to head back across the street to our house and to play in the driveway.

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Our birth doula came by for a meeting Sunday morning. I honestly have no idea if I am going to be able to give birth naturally, but I want to so much. I cannot imagine actually doing it, but I am having a doula there to help me get further along than I did last time and hopefully so far along that I get past the stage where you are allowed to have an epidural and then it won’t be in my control anymore. That said, I tapped out so quickly with Dylan (and he was less than 5 pounds), that I will be happily shocked if I make it!

After our doula meeting we quickly went grocery shopping and then Jay and I had a much needed date! We went to lunch at Peter Chang’s Tasty China II and then saw the movie The Wolf of Wall Street in a ridiculously crowded theater. Miraculously, the seat next to me was open…until the movie started and one last person came in and took it. I wouldn’t care except this particular woman was apparently sick as a dog with a horrible cold and spent the entire movie coughing, sneezing, blowing her nose, inhaling things and taking medicine. I spent the whole movie leaning as close to Jay as I could, so it wasn’t the most comfortable three hours. On the upside, the movie was really entertaining!

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I guess the last thing I have to share is that I finished an AMAZING book this weekend called The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It is an undertaking but totally absorbing and I highly recommend it. It’s a little dark so I wouldn’t read it if you are looking for something light, but if you like to get caught up in the lives of the characters in your books and feel like you know them intimately, you will love this book. It follows the life of a boy as he becomes a man and there is a fascinating story attached to his life. I don’t want to give too much away in case you read it.


Here’s what Stephen King said about it in The New York Times Book Review: “The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction”

That’s all for now!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DONNA CUSHING February 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Wow, first I must say I love the connection to the song. Music stirs emotions in me but I just love it. I am glad Dylan enjoyed tge song and the feelings. Sorry you had to cry. I can relate. I loved the video of Jay reading and Dylan yelling out H. He looks so proud and happy to have his dad there. It looks like you had a great weekend. Dylan is a lucky little boy!


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