On the way to preschool recently, I tried to play a Luther Vandross CD.

“No,” the protest came from the back seat, “not that one.”

“You remember this one, don’t you?”


“Okay, what do you want to hear?”

“The funk one.”

It took me a minute to figure out what Simone was saying. After all, funk does sound a little like a certain four-letter word. I grabbed the CD, put it in the player and we bobbed to “Brick House,” “Love Rollercoaster,” “Dazz,” and “Tear the Roof of the Sucker.”

Simone sang along; Nadia clapped. I beamed. For once, I didn’t have to listen to all that happy music made by those annoying kid groups, and there was peace in the back seat.