I Sing in the Car

I sing in the car.... I haven't always done so. In fact, a younger (slightly "hipper" - who am I kidding? I've never been very hip) version of myself would probably cringe at the mere thought of doing something so potentially embarrassing.

I am amazed when I look back at just how much I've changed over the years. I sometimes try to imagine what "17 year old Christy" would have to say to "Current Christy". I'm sure younger, (less wrinkly, less weighty) Christy would be appalled to learn that her older self shops at Goodwill, doesn't spend oodles on hair products, and rarely "goes out" with friends on a whim.

That's 17 year old Christy on the right...

Current (definitely less hip) Christy is embarrassed by some of the silly things that once seemed so vitally important to her. She no longer cares, for example, what the "Cool Kids" think (and yes folks, sadly there ARE "Cool Kids" in the adult world - those who must wear the right shoes and drive the right cars etc). Current Christy enjoys spending time at home with her husband and her baby boy. She adores hanging out with her parents too (this was not always the case). She sews and bakes and she sings in the car.

The car-singing is fairly new.

My blissful maternity leave ended in late 2008, thrusting me (kicking and screaming I assure you) back into the daily grind of my professional life. Hubby and I split the daycare duties: I dropped Baby Wills off at his babysitter each morning on my way to the office & Dan would pick him up at the end of his work day.

If you've ever had drop-off duty, you know that dear Dan got the far more enjoyable end of this particular bargain. It was so very hard that first day! When I handed my tiny guy off to his new sitter, the pain was incredible - my heart broke.

You can see here why I didn't ever want to leave him... what a darling little bit of wonderful he was, all snuggled and cozy in his car seat!

I was crying harder than the baby was, and it was all I could do to not call my boss, and quit right then and there! How could I leave my sweet little peanut with a stranger? Would she cuddle him like I did? Would she know when he was hungry? Would she keep him warm and safe? My mind raced back and forth. One minute I was fretting, the next I was reminding myself that we picked this (very competent & experienced) woman to watch our child for a reason, and that unless we wanted to move into my parents' garage (we need two incomes at the moment) I was going back to work.... like it or not.

Over the next few days I began singing during the ten minute drive from our house to daycare. I found that it calmed me, and a calmer Mommy meant a calmer baby... or at least that was my working theory.

So I sang.

I sang with all of my heart. I used my diaphragm the way we learned to do in Jr. High Choir. I did not care who saw me. All that mattered to me was the little guy in the backseat. My fervent hope was that this early morning Mommy-concert would serve as a happy memory that might help get both of us through the day ahead.

I sang all of the songs that I knew the words to (and quickly learned that there weren't very many - good thing it's a short drive).

Here are the songs I started singing to Willie those first days:

Jesus Loves Me
Jesus Loves the Little Children
Mary had a Little Lamb
Love Lifted Me (my favorite church hymn)
Take Me Out to the Ballgame (the Boston Red Sox version, of course)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (and yes, I do know it's a Christmas song)

Months have passed, and daycare isn't the unknown place it once was. We love Judy (our sweetheart of a babysitter) and when we get to her house, I'm lucky to get a kiss and a wave from Willie before I've been replaced with his little friends and Cheerios.

Though we both would be fine if I stopped, I'm still singing those same songs to him during every morning commute. It has become a part of our daily routine. Someday Willie will be far too "cool" to ride around with his singing Mommy, but for now he's my little buddy and singing is something he likes for me to do. I know this because lately, after we first get settled in the car for our morning drive, I've been asking him, "Should we sing?" He grins, and says "JES!" (his version of "Yes"). Then he proceeds to chatter along with me, trying his best to sing along.

You know what? Now that I really think about it, maybe Younger Christy wouldn't be so offended with Current Christy's uncool car singing after all - especially not if she looked close and saw just how much that cute little boy enjoys such a simple, but utterly wonderful time with his Mommy.

1 comment:

  1. I sing in the car too!! In fact, we just arrived down at my dads house (an hour plus drive) and I sang my heart out the entire way!! It is so much fun. When my kids were little, I always had music for them in the car. When they were babies I used to play phonics songs like "A says A or Ahhh, B says Buh..." and later our favorites were the "Wee Sing" recordings. "We Sing America" taught us the preamble to the Constitution, all fifty states (in song) plus much more! We also listened to Multiplication Rock and a multitude of others. When I took child development classes in college (pre children) they told us that the child's brain is like a sponge (the younger the better) so even if it sounds nuts, it's important to load in as much raw information into their brains when they're little and later they will sort and use it in surprisingly wondrous ways!! As my kids are now mostly grown (two in their early twenties, my youngest seventeen) I have seen them all do amazingly well academically and I do believe that early information input helped (and I immersed them in it, and not so much TV, but some). Sorry to digress so much! I'm off now to visit with my family.



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