Saturday, May 8, 2010

As If On Cue...

My daughter chose one of those "singing" greeting cards for my mother for Mother's Day. Ever since she discovered them, it's been difficult to convince her that the non-singing variety is a reasonable choice. Many times, we don't even try. (Apparently she has the music in her as well.)

After dinner the other night (the same night I wrote my last blog about music), Leah took out the card and opened it up to show it to me. As it began to play, she said, "Mom, you used to sing this song to me."

"You remember that?" I was incredulous. One of the running, not-so-funny jokes in our house is how little my daughter remembers of all of the things we did when she was little. In those days (a decade or more ago), I had more energy, and I only worked part time. And, since she both needed me and wanted me around, we spent hours playing Barbies, school and many other games of her choosing, and by her rules. For a while, I worried that she'd never learn to play independently. As my friends' children learned to entertain themselves, my little one played for five or ten minutes and then appeared wherever I was and entreated me to come play with her.

Though some of the games seemed endless, I knew a day would come when she wouldn't want me to "come play" and so I hung in there. When she began to play by herself more regularly, it was bittersweet, just as I'd expected it to be.

And when naptime and bedtime rolled around, there was Mom-time then, too. We'd go upstairs together, she'd settle in, and I'd keep her company for a little while before she drifted off. I hoped I was creating a habit that would give her a predictable time with me if she needed to talk or share or ask me something that was too overwhelming for the light of day.

And at those naptimes and bedtimes, there was always music. When she was a baby, I read her stories and sang her lullabies. And then, long after the bedtime stories were outgrown, we listened to music together, sometimes talking, sometimes silent, sometimes singing along.

Earlier this week, my mother's Mother's Day card sparked an entire conversation about those bedtime songs - so much so, that my daughter dug out an old CD so we could hear - and sing - some of those songs again. We started with the lullabies - words I'd put to old tunes to personalize for Leah - and moved on to the CDs and finally, to comfortable silence. She's forgotten the games and the toys, but not the music.

Once again music triumphs. And transcends.

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