When Brett and I began serious discussions about having children, I did a lot of daydreaming. What would life with a little one be like? I had no idea. I started out as the youngest of four daughters. When I was five, my mother died in a car accident. Soon after I was blessed to get a second mother (hi, mom!) and a younger brother (hey, Jason!) to boot. So, for a while, I was the middle child. When my third sister left for college (we’re seven years apart), I was the oldest child for several years. Youngest, middlest, oldest. I’ve had first-hand experience doing time in every birth order that exists. I brag that this little detail about my life makes me an incredibly well-rounded person. Sadly, I have no evidence to back up that claim.
I had lots of experience being a kid, but no experience caring for kids. I had no frame of reference to box in my daydreams of having a baby. When we finally became pregnant, I didn’t spend much time dreaming about how life with a baby would really be like. Instead, I spent many, many hours thinking about music. What our baby should listen to, what s/he could listen to, and what s/he must never, never hear. I decided my eclectic musical tastes must be entrenched in our child. Classes began at birth.
Fast-forward to Jack today. My plan to sculpt our child’s musical intellect is thriving. The first set of lyrics Jack mumbled were from Paul McCartney and Wings‘ Band on the Run. He can identify Stevie Wonder‘s voice and harmonica by ear. He excitedly yells, "This is PRINCE!" when appropriate. I haven’t been able to turn Jack on to Led Zeppelin yet, but I will continue my careful guidance until he can figure out, all on his own, how to correctly pronounce D’yer Mak’er. It feels good to know that this part of me–the music I love–may turn out to be the music Jack loves. It’s like our little shared secret. We know what rocks.
Last week, Jack surprised me by singing his "first" song. He’s sung his share of nursery rhymes and the like, of course. But this song was of his choosing–loud and proud, without the backup of a CD, without prompts from mom or dad. The song just soared out of him. He was feeling it! I realized that, after these many months of musical introduction and instruction, that’s all I really want to teach Jack about music. To feel it.
Perhaps you know the tune he decided to belt out. If you do, sing along! The diddy goes something like this:
I admit it–this ain’t really my kind of tune. But now it’s music to my ears.