I just recently met Hyacynth at Cupcake10, and she is just as lovely as her name. She's also a babywearing ninja and can probably wrap a baby with a blindfold and both hands tied behind her back. And as a music lover who is often forced to listen to Sesame Street Live ad naseum, I get her!
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"Taken out of context, you know, I must seem so strange.*"
That's how I feel as a guest blogger since we probably never have "met" before. Hopefully, this will be less awkward than meeting your blind date right before prom and then moments later having to pose for pictures. Anyway, I’m Hyacynth from Undercovermother.net. Nice to meet you. Now smile, and look at the camera while I make pleasantries during Erin’s first week back at school …
My house often vibrates with on-and-off-pitch singing as my two year old and I sing songs and nursery rhymes from the time we wake until our heads hit the pillow at night. Sometimes we sing them easily and effortlessly as we go about making lunch, playing and driving. And sometimes I actually tune in and listen to the words my oldest and I are harmonizing.
And when I actually take note of what I'm singing, I laugh to myself because a few short years ago I never would have imagined singing so passionately about London bridges, itsy bitsy spiders and ants that march through the rain.
As a music junkie, sometimes it still surprises me that I even sing these songs at all. I've always been the type of person who lives life in her own personal musical. I've always heard the perfect song in my head for each moment and quietly let it play in my mind as I lived out my daily life. So before I had kids, I swore up and down that my babes and I would listen to real music -- the kind that makes your heart swell up in your chest and nearly skyrocket out of your mouth in the form of lyrics and melody.
And I heeded my promise for quite some time. My two year old had a serious appetite for Jimmy Eat World when he was just a little baby. There's a song on the Futures album that made him completely dissolve into fits of baby giggles every time he heard it. But, we found, he had the same affinity for The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Ants Go Marching. And because I loved to see my baby smile and giggle more than I loved music (my pre-mommy self would gasp in shock at this admission), I began singing songs about insects and muffin men and blind mice just to see his smiles.
The older my first-born grew, the less I found myself listening to what I deemed passionate, quality tunes; I only sneaked in some music during showers because, honestly, I'd rather listen to Bingo than an irritated toddler screech demands for his music over the luscious melodies of Death Cab for Cutie. Slowly, I relinquished control of the radio. And when my second-born arrived this past September, I pretty much gave up ever trying to listen to anything that didn't chronicle the sounds that dogs and pigs make or the woes of five monkeys who've been jumping on the bed. My previously rockin' entire-life soundtrack became quite tame. And I succumbed to singing about all the bugs my boys so dearly loved even though I longed for a a bit of the Beatles or Caedmon's Call during the waking hours with the little guys instead of the hum-drum nursery rhymes we sang on repeat. My heart sank when I thought about how I wasn't passing on the love of some stellar music to my boys, and I found myself hoping that someday I would be able to turn them on to some of the amazing songs and bands that had so lovingly guided me through breakups, accomplishments, falling in love and even losing people I loved.
A few days ago, though, I stumbled across my oldest singing alone in his playroom while he played with toys. He was very passionately belting out the lyrics to The Itsy Bitsy Spider (while playing his "guitar," which is actually the TV remote control) when it hit me; I didn't fail at passing on my love for music. I'd actually succeeded. Maybe the boys don't love all of musicians and songs I think deserve a spot in their hearts, but, goodness, they do love songs. I saw the same emotion in my two year old's eyes as he sang about that poor little spider who gets washed off the spout by the rain but decides he's gonna give that spout one more go that I have seen in my own eyes when I'm accompanying Ani DiFranco and harmonizing about the little plastic castles being a surprise every time for the goldfish who have no memory. And now that I think about it, maybe, just maybe, those songs the boys love aren't too far off from the one nestled deep inside my heart.
*Ani DiFranco, Firedoor (See, I told you I think in music, like, all of the time. Even while I'm guest blogging.)