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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thoughts - Singing

How do you know if your kids are happy? You know, besides hearing their great belly laughs and seeing goofy grins on their faces. 

I know my kids are especially happy when I hear them singing. It could be one of them singing the theme song to Good Luck Charlie. Or The Sprite singing in the shower. Both of them singing together in the car. Or The Boy singing while he rides his bike. 

Singing alone. Singing together. Softly. Loudly. In this house singing is an indication of  immense joy being felt in the moment. 

I love their singing. No matter how very loud it can get. But my favorite kind of singing is the kind I catch them doing quietly, own their own. Today, for instance, I heard The Sprite singing in her room. I crept up the stairs to take a closer look. She was singing a favorite tune and twirling around her room. She was oblivious to my stare. She picked up her doll and spun her around. She then unceremoniously tossed her doll onto the bed, did a forward roll and a back walkover. All the while she sang. With inflection and passion. With happiness.

It made my heart swell right up. And it made me think about my childhood. I sang all the time. I was a very happy kid. And then I tried to think about when exactly the unbridled singing stopped. Mind you, I didn't suddenly become unhappy, I remain to this day a very happy person. But the singing stopped. Well, it subsided and I wondered why.

I have a sneaking suspicion that age did it. With age I became more self-conscious and acutely aware of my surroundings. "What if I'm caught belting out my favorite tune? Will they think I'm a dork? What if they laugh? Oh, I'd be so embarrassed." Age has a funny way of offering so very much while pulling away some precious things too.

Even though I still see The Sprite and The Boy as my babies, they are growing. They will outgrow their clothes and shoes, practically monthly. They will expand their palate by trying and loving new foods. They won't want to hold my hand anymore when we walk from the car into the store. They'll prefer the opinions of their friends over my opinion. They may stop singing.

But they are part of me. I know they will find their stage. Because happiness cannot be contained. They will sing unabashedly, at the top of their lungs in the car while they drive. They will close their bedroom doors, turn off the lights and have the privacy to serenade the picture of their crush. They will be home alone, crank up the speakers and sing and dance wildly. They will hear a favorite song and sing it with their best friends. Because best friends sing when they're happy too. 

And they will sing with me because I have been and will always be a happiness example.


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