I am notorious for breaking into song at the odd moment, usually with ad-libbed verses.
Danielle once observed, “Mom, you are the only one I know who would sing about not being able to find the exit to a parking lot.”
Anything might set me into a fit of singing, not being able to get out of a parking lot, some jerk cutting me off in traffic, trying to get a sleepy kid out of bed in the morning – practically anything.
Now granted, I don’t often do this around others, just my family. Although as the years go by and I grow older and far less concerned about what others think, that has been changing. I might not belt out these tunes, but I’ll sing along at an audible level. Most people smile and laugh, I cheerfully ignore the rest of the responses.
When Ice Dies
The other day Emily wanted one of the last of the icicles. We were at the storage unit, clearing it out before we went to Tuesday morning Story Time at the library. She happily licked it in the car as we drove away. “You know,” I said to her, “that can’t come with you into the library, and it will melt in the car, so when we get to the library you’ll need to make a decision on where to put it that doesn’t include the library or the car.”
She nodded, sucked on the icicle and said, “Poor icicle, you will have to die.”
And that was all it took…
When ice DIES!
Emily can’t help but CRY!
I belted it out, deliberately over-dramatic and off-key.
“Moooommmm!” she sighed, rolling her eyes. (My child is a teenager in 1st grader’s clothing)
When ice DIES!
We must all say GOODBYE!
Yeah, it wasn’t particularly good lyrics, but I thought it was hilarious. Emily hammed up her role, pretending to be frustrated with me, hiding the smile that was tugging at the corners of her mouth.
“Hey!” I said, “I’ve got an idea! We can practice the song and sing it for Miss Kelly and all the rest of the kids!”
Emily’s eyes grew round with horror. It looked exactly like Danielle’s face at nine years of age when I asked her quite loudly in a theater line if she was sure she didn’t want to see the Barney movie.
“NO Mama, NO!”
I launched into another warble of my new rock ballad – When Ice Dies and Emily pulled the Mother card.
Just like her sister, when’s she frustrated with me she refers to me as MOTHER knowing how much I prefer Mama or Mom.
Her mouth set in a frown (with the corners still trying to twitch into a smile) she said forcefully, “Mother, you are NOT going to sing that song in the library!”
I didn’t of course. I tease, but I try to stop before it becomes a real upset. After Story Time, however, it was back on again.
I was so very pleased when she returned my teasing with her own song…
When ice LIVES
I can’t help but be glad
She sang and then turned to me, “Mama, we need more lyrics to that song.” We spent the rest of the drive singing, laughing, and coming up with lyrics.
No, Booger Butts are BAD
I made the mistake of calling Emily a booger butt the other day. Actually I sang it,
My booger butt
She’s so cute
My booger butt
She’s quite a hoot
Funny, she didn’t like this song. “I’m NOT a booger butt,” she said. “Booger butts are bad.” And with that, she launched into a song about booger butts and the terrible things they do.
Let me just say for the record that after Emily’s song I am convinced, booger butts are BAD!
Hotel California and Other Classics
When Danielle was six or seven, I was obsessed with the Eagles for a while. In particular, the Hotel California song. So deep was my obsession that I learned the lyrics and then taught Danielle them as well, insisting she sing along in the car. She did pretty well.
Fast forward eighteen years and I found myself listening to the song again, and then teaching Emily the lyrics. The other morning as I prepped breakfast in the kitchen and Emily lounged sleepily on the couch I heard her singing tentatively. She hasn’t got the whole song down, but she definitely has good sections of it.
As I stood in the doorway, I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself this could be heaven and this could be…heck (yes, she amended it herself)
Then she raised up her candle and she showed me the way
I could hear voices down the corridor, thought I heard them say
Welcome to the Hotel California!
Such a lovely place, such a lovely face
There’s plenty of room at the Hotel California
Anytime of year, you can find her here.
Perhaps it was the creepy idea of entering into a hotel that you could never leave again. But it definitely has taken root in her brain.
Music As a Reference Point
Emily was telling me about some local boys who like to play with fire. I told her how dangerous fire was, “Remember in All Spirits Sing when the river is singing about how she can give life or take it to the other side?” I said to Emily. “Well fire is like that too. Just like the river would bring drinking water and water for crops, fire brings warmth and cooks our food, but both are deadly if not respected. You must be very careful with both.”
We use music every day to convey our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. I have often mused on this – because in my own life music has been so powerful, influential and even educational.