I can’t even begin to comprehend the amount of space occupied in my brain by lyrics to songs. Old songs, new songs, kids songs, church songs, camp songs. Songs I wish I could forget and songs I didn’t know I knew.
If only this amazing power of lyrical recall could be harnessed for good. World peace, furthering medical sciences, engineering new ways to bring clean water to those who need it?
Nope. I can sing along with pretty much any song I’ve heard since I was 5. It’s kinda ridiculous. And I sing each and every one I hear on the radio. If you have been around for a bit, you’ll recall I was a band member. Not choir. I scare people with my singing voice…and have found the latest way to torture my children. I sing when their friends are in the car! Loudly, I sing loudly, and car dance while I drive.
While driving Eldest home I was belting out the words to a Megan Trainor song “If Lips Are Movin.” Eldest shook his head and I asked why. He said the usual 14 year old boy response, “Nothing.”
Next a Taylor Swift song with the phrase, “Boys only want love if it’s torture.”
That’s when he said, “ENOUGH! That’s so not true. All these songs make guys sound so awful. Girls are way meaner than any guys I know! We don’t think that hard about stuff.” (I’m paraphrasing – was so excited to engage in actual conversation I didn’t get the exact words in my head.)
We had a real conversation about music and life. We laughed when I brought up the Ed Sheeran song “Thinking Out Loud.” (You know…the one where he signs “I’ll love you till we’re 70.) I asked, “What the heck happens when you turn 71?” And Eldest spouts off, ” I guess Grannie and Grandpa are done for since they’re past that age!”
For the record I have no idea where he gets his sarcasm. None at all.
Since then I’ve been listening to the words of the songs I sing. There are some really cool ones. Many are disturbing. Many are too sexy when I hear them come from the mouths of my Littles. I do let my children listen to “popular” music. I do sensor some songs but not all. They know which words not to sing. If they choose to sing those words, they don’t get to listen to that song anymore.
I love how we’re sharing our love of music and using it to spur conversations, learn lessons, talk about hard stuff. So far, regardless of the child, music has been the spark to start us talking. We bond over music. Sometimes all six of us will belt out a song together in the car. Other times I simply sing until I get smiles that lead to conversation. And I’ll do whatever it takes to keep our lines of conversation open.
Here’s to music and all the benefits it brings to our lives.
How do you connect with your children? Is there one thing that works across the board with all of them?