Archive for September, 2009

Our new lullaby

September 17, 2009

I have a terrible singing voice. This was confirmed when, at age 13, I took singing lessons with my sister. As aspiring actresses, we wanted to put our best foot forward for the school play auditions. Under the tutelage of “Mrs. M,” we belted out “I Got Rhythm” and the Ice Castles theme song, “Through the Eyes of Love,” into a microphone plugged into a recorder in her living room each Wednesday night. This enabled us to play back our performances for study at home.

Encouraged by Mrs. M’s praise of our voices, we returned each week for about a month. I don’t recall what tipped us off to just how bad our singing was, but I suspect one or both of my parents had something to do with it (I can only imagine the eye rolls and stifled laughter they enjoyed at our expense). All it takes now is a mention of the “singing tapes,” and my sister and I are brought to tears of laughter. We’re still in search of the infamous cassettes–they must be destroyed!

I mention all this because I have been singing A LOT lately. I now pity my poor husband who has to hear it. But baby girl seems to like it. I sing as I give her a bath. I sing as I change her diaper. I sing as I feed her a bottle. I sing because it’s sunny outside. I sing because it’s raining outside. With all this singing, you can imagine that I have gone through every song I know the words to and many I don’t.

What I find amusing is the song I found myself singing over the weekend when I couldn’t bear to sing “My Favorite Things” or “You Are My Sunshine” one more time. From somewhere deep in my brain, I pulled out the lyrics to my high school fight song, and surprisingly, I recalled every word. And she liked it. And so now we have a new song in our repertoire.

To all you Marian Mustangs out there, ping me if you need a refresher on the lyrics. (Oh and I fully recommend three spirited fist pumps timed to the “rah rah rahs.” It adds a little something extra to the performance.) 🙂

Never losing the wonder

September 7, 2009

the_little_prince_011Have I mentioned that I love having a kid? It makes me do things like re-read childhood classics. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is a fable that certainly qualifies as such. Before my most recent reading of this little book to Meghan, I last read it in twelfth grade French class. Le Petit Prince was the first (and last) novel I tackled in the French language. I don’t know if the message of this little book resonated so much then as it does now. Perhaps that’s because I had to look up every third word in the Dictionnaire Francais (I’m ashamed to admit this Madame Krasucki)! Or perhaps it’s because when I read it in high school, I was on the cusp of adulthood and growing further away from my own childhood much to the Little Prince’s chagrin.

For it was he who said such things as, “All grown-ups were children first. (But few remember it)” and “Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask: ‘What does his voice sound like?’ ‘What games does he like best?’ ‘Does he collect butterflies?’. They ask: ‘How old is he?’ ‘How many brothers does he have?’ ‘How much does he weigh?’ ‘How much money does his father make?’ Only then do they think they know him.”

Maybe you too have read this little book before? If so, I encourage you to read it again–especially if, like me, you’re a parent or a grandparent, Godparent, guardian or caregiver of little ones. It has made me take pause and consider how this little daughter of mine might look at the world–with no preconceived notions and a curiosity and wonder that I hope I can help her preserve as long as possible.

It reminds me of a birthday card I once received from a friend when in high school. I saved it (yes, I’m an admitted pack rat) because I liked its message, and until a recent re-decorating,  I had it hanging above my desk at home.

wonder

I think I need to post it in a place of prominence once again. I suspect the Little Prince would approve.