No kidding. I’m a famously lousy singer. Notorious.
Years ago, my sister and I were on a school bus trip to somewhere with a bus full of kids from our school, and I lost myself in the music on my walkman.
I even remember the song that was playing when the teacher, Mr. Isler, turned around in his seat and asked me to stop singing. It was In Lonesome Dove by Garth Brooks. I loved that song, right up until that moment.
And then I never listened to it again.
Okay, that’s not true, but I never let anyone else hear me sing: no man I ever not even my husband, my friends, my family, my cats. No one heard me sing.
Until my baby was born.
You know how women say that you lose all sense of modesty when you’ve given birth? That extended to my voice.
I sang to my baby morning, noon, and night. I sang to her when she was awake. I sang to her when she was asleep. I sang to when she was falling to sleep. I sang to her in private and in public. I sang to hear all the time.
Grace loved it. She loved my singing. She loved my attention.
Some days, nothing else would put her to sleep. I learned the words to all of the songs on her baby swing, and I sang along to the tinny music.
Nobody else seemed to mind my singing, and no one criticized me. It was the first time in my life that no one made fun of my singing.
It felt great to sing to my baby. My singing calmed her. It was a powerful tool, even if it was lousy singing.
As Grace got older, she didn’t need to me to sing to her as much. I slowly stopped.
But then, this past summer, I had a hard time convincing 2-year-old Grace to take a nap. It was no different from the first weeks of her life.
It got really bad. I couldn’t take Grace’s meanness and frustration on days that she needed a nap. She was not her usual, pleasant self.
So one day, I started singing. Skidamarink. Rock-a-bye baby. Hush little baby. You are my sunshine. All of our old favorites made a comeback.
Grace loves my singing more now than she did before. When she’s tired or cranky or feeling bad, she crawls up on my lap and says Sing me please!
It doesn’t matter where we are. I can’t resist.
Even if I am a lousy singer.
© 2009, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.