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January 8, 2008

Her American Idol

Sallie A. Rodman

The phone always rings right at 9:00 pm on the dot.

Its time for Idol, Mom. Are you ready? Its my oldest daughter, Jennifer.

Sure am, and Im crossin my fingers for Melinda and Jordin. I heard Jennifer Lopez is coaching them this week!

That is so cool! she replies. Im saying a little prayer that Jordin stays, too. Catch you in a little. And with that she hangs up.

Thus starts our weekly journey into an hour of time that is all oursjust me and my daughter, who lives a thousand miles away.

Jennifer is a military wife. She lives with my two grandchildren in Washington state, a long way from her hometown of Los Alamitos. She moved there in the middle of last year and is slowly making friends, but its not easy being alone. Her husband, Ed, is in the Navy serving in the North Arabian Sea, supporting the troops on the ground in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. Ed will be gone on sea duty for another nine months. Watching American Idol together is one of my ways of reaching out to her so that she doesnt feel so alone.

She grabs a Coke and I grab my tea, and we each settle down in front of our respective TV sets. Her kids are in bed at last, and she can have a little time to herself. We call back and forth on our cell phones between contestants. Shes voting for Jordin Sparks, and I was voting for Gina Glocksen until she was voted off last week. We both cried when Gina left. So now were both voting for Jordin, but we also like Melinda a lotand Chris, Lakisha, and Blake.

Whoops, there goes my phone again.

Can you believe that Sanjaya? she says before I even get a chance to say hello. What does everyone see in him?

I dont know, hon, but they must see something. I know the teenyboppers who work part-time in my office just love him to death.

Oh, she giggles, I forgot about them. Haleys up, gotta run. Catch you after, and shes gone again.

And so it goes, week after week.

When the show is over, we recap what Haley wore, how long Melinda held her notes, how rude Simons remarks were, and who we think might get the boot tomorrow night.

For the contestants, American Idol is the dream of a lifetime. For me, American Idol is a time to connect with my daughter during these difficult days in her life and hopefully help keep her spirits afloat. For Jennifer, American Idol is her little hour of fun where she can escape into a world of feuding judges, beat-boxers and rockers, celebrity coaches, and songs gone awry, while her real American Idol is on the other side of the world, defending our freedom. And Jennifer has a dream, tooto have her idol come back safe and sound to her and her two sleeping children.

(Taken from, 'Chicken Soup For The Soul')

More entries: Her American Idol, Opportunity To Grow, about me (1)

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51

Male


Location

United Kingdom

Work

Education

Study

Graduate School

Education

Interests

reading, surfing the net, listening to music, watching movies, riding my bike, making friends

people who really really care about others and care for the interest of others besides self.

arrogant, self righteous, & selfish people.

blue

pasta, pizza, jiaozi, mala yu, chow mein

milk

Phil Collins, Cliff Richard, ABBA, UB40, Westlife, Back Street Boys

Shrek, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Ghost (Patrick Swaze, Demi Moore)

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