“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” George Carlin
The past few weeks have left many impressions upon this mom of three. How to fight colds while getting through winter. How to pack for a two-week family vacation. Surviving Disney. Surviving an extended family vacation. Combatting seasickness and keeping kiddies entertained on a large moving ship.
The list goes on and all things that many, many other parents write about. I can dispense advice on all of these things. The kid travel backpack versus the roll along suitcase. How important is it really to pack tons of toys versus one or two really good books and an iPad mini? Perhaps one day I will. (And believe me, if anyone out there wants to read about it, I will be happy to write it. Just message me!) But today I want to write about what I learned the past few weeks as a mom to three intelligent, active youngsters.
Move to the music.
Music surrounds me every day. I’m not talking about the kind of lofty music we hear as we listen to the snow falling around us. (Although that kind of quiet music is sometimes heaven-sent.) What I’m talking about is the actual rocking, off-key singing, flute playing, bass pounding, piano concerto music that surrounds us everyday as parents.
Our house is filled with music on a regular basis but put eight cousins together in a house, then at Disney filled with the sounds of princess ballads or on a cruise ship where latin beats wash over the sparkling decks usual parental constraints disperse until you feel yourself singing along to “Let It Go” for the hundredth time or starting to sashay your hips to “All About the Bass.” Then an amazing thing happens. You realize what a stick in the mud you’ve become.
Why shouldn’t you dance with your four-year old spinning him around and around? Who cares if all the other parents sit on the bleachers and think you’re crazy? Maybe you are for the moment. But the important lesson learnt after spending two fun-filled weeks with family, friends and kids is, move to the music.
Music is a constant in my life. Once upon a time pre kids I filled my life with music each and every moment. I was either tinkering on the piano, in a musical theatre performance, a choir or finding the newest female singer songwriter I could adore from afar.
So I say: Parents! Embrace the silly songs and try not to roll your eyes at the ever constant songbirds (including my Mr. L) in your life! After all, if they are singing, doesn’t that mean they are happy? They are experiencing some sort of joy?
The variety of music that surrounds a parent is astonishing. Just last night, our crew decided to put on one of their famous shows where it all ended in a dance party and the kids singing “Let’s Get This Party Started.” This was after an hour of piano practice, flut practice and my eight-year old playing over and over, “Doe a Deer” in different keys.
Even today, as I write this, I am listening to the newly downloaded Google Play on my computer that allows me to listen to new artists. How else would I have found some great new indie artists in one place? Although I enjoy meditative silence, some good music in the background can be a great muse.
Music is here to stay. Since infancy our family has been surrounded by music. Some of my fondest memories of are listening to my Great-Aunt and Grandmother tickle the ivories on the out of tune piano playing old classics from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Or of watching my parents vinyl collection spin round and round as the strains of Steppenwolf crackles from the large speakers. The first time I heard the haunting strains of Phantom of the Opera stay with me whenever my mood is dark and gloomy with a score that still gives me the chills.
Seeing my six-year-old run down the streets of the Magic Kingdom after visiting the Biddidy Bobbedy Boutique in her Elsa dress singing at the top of her lungs and spinning with a snowflake wand gripped in her small hand was a joyous occasion. So was seeing my younger guy shake his hips to a song on the radio showing his aunts and uncles his fabulous dance moves while we all drank cold beers after walking hours upon hours at Disney. These are the kind of memories I will cherish. Not how many rides we went on or even what port we stopped in in the Caribbean.
Music is built into my system. I miss it when it’s gone. So instead of dampening the music for my kids, this parent of three is going to teach them to embrace any tune (with some filtering, after all they are young kids) and move to it in whatever way they want.