Singing Our Way into Fall – Months 46/47

27 Sep
I think it is imperative as your parent to make sure you have a well rounded musical education. When you were very young, we were told that we would have to resign ourselves to the Disney Radio Channel and all the mind numbing music that goes along with it. Some people love all things Disney. I am not one of them. I am still trying to figure out how I can get through your childhood without taking you to Disneyland; I am that awful. I don’t have a problem with people loving Disney, but it’s just not for me. So, early on I decided that because we spend a lot of time in the care, we would listen to really good music. What is really good music? It’s music that I happen to love and others may hate as much as I hate the Fresh Beat Band. A little Call Me Maybe? Totally fine. A lot of Fresh Beat Band. Not okay.


In the early, early days I would often be reduced to singing Old MacDonald Had A Farm because it was literally the only thing that would stop you from screaming in the car. Then the halcyon days of NPR came when I could listen to Morning Edition and not have to worry about you overhearing the news and then asking tough questions about tragic world events. Now whenever I have NPR on you ask questions and I sometimes have to turn the radio off because it is very hard to explain to you why something terrible happened in world events. You are always listening and filing things away to tell me about later – like the time you told me that a kid in your class thew up his pizza lunch. Five days after it had actually happened. 

And, back to the music. Your favorite songs are on a playlist I have put together for you. This is what is on it right now and almost anytime I play any of these songs you say, “Oh! This is (insert song title!) This is my favorite song! We haven’t listened to this song in a long long time!” (even if we had just listened to it the previous day)  And then without missing a beat you ask, “Mama, is it on repeat? Can we listen to it on repeat?” Without fail, this is your routine.

So, a few “kids” songs in the mix, but overall a really solid music beginning. Your dad and I are always thrilled when you specifically request “Orange Crush.”
Sugar, Sugar (what an insanely weird awesome video – I’d never see it before)
Kodachrome (not the version you know, but what I wouldn’t give to have been at that concert – I would have been seven)
5 Years Time (this is the cutest video I have ever seen)
Saw You First (being in the studio definitely lifts this one-this is a pretty bad version)
Leaving On a Jet Plane(we always debate whether this is a sad song or a happy song)

A few weeks ago summer came to an end and you went back to school, which I was really happy about because you were a restless soul without the routine of class or camp and teachers keeping you in line. The summer was absolutely dreamy though and I’ve felt a little panicky as the leaves have swiftyly changed from green to red in the mountains and our driveway has a few more yellow leaves on it every morning. We spent hours and hours at the pool this summer and you got braver about learning how to swim underwater. We went in adventures and hikes and to see the new polar bear exhibit at the Zoo, which we both loved. We went to Sun Valley and fished again together and you rode your bike around the hotel grounds ringing your bike bell and stopping at the candy store for candy, just like I had been dreaming of you doing since you were born. We spent the last week of vacation in August in Californa after driving there for the first time ever. With the exception of a brief bout with a stomach bug the night before we drive back to Utah, you were a champion traveler. This was not due to any particular parenting tactic I employed, but simple because you will happily sit for hours watching videos in given the chance. Long live the ipad.

The occasion for the trip was my sister Anne’s wedding to her now husband, Tommy, which you were pretty thrilled about since Anne and Tommy are probably two of your favorite people in the world along with my parents and your other aunt and uncle Emelie and Isaiah. Your dad and I rank somewhere around 10th or 11th place. You and your cousins Avery and Birch all wore the same outfit and were the cutest things ever. You danced up a storm on the dance floor, which made me laugh thinking about when you were very small and would demand that people stop singing Happy Birthday at parties and catagorically refuse to dance. “No Mama. No dancing. No singing.” You still tell me to stop singing in the car sometimes because, “someone else is already singing the song.”
So, school started and you actually posed for pictures after I promised you could also take my photo. I had been thinking a lot about what songs to play for the first day of school, since you often ask for a song that will, “get you ready for your day.” And so we chose The Cave, which I thought was an excellent way to kick off the school year. How can you argue with the lyrics, “‘Cause I need freedom now and I need to know how to live my life as it’s meant to be.” Preschool seems as good a time as any to start the road to self-awareness. And then we cruised into the parking lot singing Stayin’ Alive. There is nothing like a three year old belting out “oooooo, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.” I felt like the coolest parent ever for about three minutes.

I know that a few years from now you’ll barely be able to stand being in the car with me, let alone sing with me so I am living this up right now. You are on the cusp of four and so grown up I find it nearly impossible to think of a time when you weren’t telling me that, “five chances means five opportunities Mama.” But I am not longing for the days when you were an infant. No, if growing up means you putting on your own seatbelt and dunking your head underwater at the pool and leaping from the edge into my arms over and over and weighing in on what you think a song means, and asking for a dance party in the living room every night, then this parenting gig is just getting better and better. Thank you for being my singing partner. 

4 Responses to “Singing Our Way into Fall – Months 46/47”

  1. HHitchc October 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    LOVE THE NEW SITE~ As always, makes me teary. I am sooooo glad you did I song list. LOVE

  2. Lori March 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    New Reader sent by Dooce =) My son is 8 and we’ve made music a big part of his life. We still sing in the car together. Don’t lose hope! His favorite songs are Loser by Beck, Wagon Wheel (excellent taste btw), anything by Johnny Cash, and he knows the lyrics to many I can’t remember right now. It’s kind of awesome walking through the store and your son starts singing Don’t Bring Me Down. Keep on the good fight! No doodlebops or wiggles!

  3. abbey September 10, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    4 is SOOOOO much better than any other age to date! Thanks for the nice comment on my blog — I TOTALLY wanted to nap today; even seriously was like, I could just go nap….

  4. gogoabigail September 10, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    Thanks for your nice comment today — I was TOTALLY thinking about a nap, allllll day! (abbey at

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