In her giggles, there is music. It sounds like tinkling crystal bells. There are deeper tones in the hearty laughter and in the hiccups that follow (and they always follow), a clear punctuation, like a triangle being struck.
It reminds me of the nursery rhyme:
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She will have music wherever she goes.
While I cherish our quiet moments, it seems my life with Mia has been a life lived with music. Her birth was the prelude. Back before that, I watched her tiny feet move ripples across my abdomen whenever music played. She seemed to particularly enjoy the worship at Temple Beth Yeshuran we attended to celebrate my father-in-law’s building project completion for their congregation.
I sang her lullabies in those hazy, frustrating, maddening first days. I sang out of desperation, and half-out-of-my-mind with anxious concern. Why won’t she sleep? Why is she crying? When was the last time I showered? Was that spit up or toothpaste on my shirt?
She would doze in my arms while I repeated the strains of “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral,” thinking of the lush, green Irish countryside to calm my early mommy nerves. She slept as long as I hummed the tune of “Songbird.” She slept. Even her cries, that racked her when I lay her down, had a familiar tonal pattern that sounded like song.
Moreover, we usually went to sleep singing. Hymns, worship songs, Disney tunes, “Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks. I sang. Then, she started to sing. She was 2 years and 9 months when her sister arrived on the scene. She stood at the glass, watching them clean the mewling thing and started intoning, “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”
Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Know that the Lord, he is God. It is he who has made us, and we are his. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Psalm 100:2-4
My Mia is music. She has it embedded into her body and imprinted on her soul. She is the sheet on which God has composed a masterpiece and returns the gift of that creation when she sings, cries and laughs. She’s also attuned to hearing and recognizing songs.
We will be out, in a shopping area, and she’ll freeze. “Listen, it’s the song from X movie!” or “We sing this song at school!” or “I sing this at church!” She hears music where I hear white noise.
She’s the song that made me a mother. Her movements are sound and melody. Our relationship, at times, a tenuous harmony, but we keep moving through the piece together.
Are you creating music or noise in your relationships? What metaphors do you have to describe your children?