Friday, January 23, 2015

Don't Worry That It's Not Good Enough

I've always really liked to sing. I don't care for singing solos (I get nervous and I don't feel like my voice is that strong by itself) but when I discovered choirs in high school after a few voice lessons, I really, really loved singing for people. I sang through high school and three years of college and in a few church choirs, and I always found it really fulfilling. I'm not the greatest singer in the world, but singing makes me happy.

Lately though, I don't have too many opportunities to perform, and my skills are probably decreasing. With a new baby in the house it's hard to get motivated to join the church choir when I could be napping on Sunday afternoon, and anything else seems like a lot to coordinate right now. My husband works some nights, getting babysitters stresses me out, you know the drill. I get my singing kicks by singing to my babies. 

When CB was a baby, I sang everything to her. Old choir songs I remembered, Broadway show tunes, hymns, songs from Sesame Street or the Muppets, stuff by the Beatles or Simon and Garfunkle - anything I knew all of the words to was fair game, and sometimes I stayed in her room rocking her longer than was strictly necessary just because I enjoyed singing to someone who didn't make me feel self-conscious. 

Now CB is two and a half, and she has opinions about what we should sing. I sing the ABCs about 15 times a day, "Once Upon a Dream" about a dozen, and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" makes an appearance at most bedtimes. I still get to sing whatever I want to little sister when I get my rare one on one time with her, but for the last month or so I've stopped minding singing what CB wants to sing - because now she sings it with me. 

If you want to experience something joyful, it's seeing your child enjoy something that you love and ask you to do it with her. Although sometimes she wants to sing alone (and she tells me - "No Mommy, you not singing!") sometimes she demands that I sing along. It doesn't matter where we are or who else is around either. If it's time to sing "Sleeping 'Boo-ty,'" it's time.

Better still, when little sis is upset, we ask CB to sing to her to help her calm down. At first this was just a tactic to help her stay calm, but crazily enough, 85% of the time it actually seems to do the trick. And if you ask CB what Miss D's favorite song is, she'll tell you the ABCs, and her favorite singer, of course, is her big sister. I'm not sure there's any feeling that is sweeter than watching my baby look at my toddler with a look of pure delight, when seconds before she was sobbing, and watching my toddler singing at the top of her lungs to make her baby sister happy, no matter who is around. Her sweet little voice cracks, she mixes up words, (my current favorite is, "You'll love me at once, the way did you once upon a D-WEAM!"), and if I tell her it will help her sister, she never, ever hesitates to start belting it out. 

I really love Sesame Street, and I've heard their "Sing a Song" about 40,000 times, but I especially love this part:
Sing, sing a song
Keep it simple, to last your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song. 

I don't think I sing well enough for EVERYONE else to hear, but singing to my daughters makes all of us happy, and I'm glad that, for now at least (until I'm SO EMBARRASSING MOM STOP) it's good enough for them. 

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