One of my great pleasures in life is singing to my children. Now at some point this won’t be a great pleasure to them because they will realize their mother can’t carry a tune but, for now, they appear to think I am American Idol material. And Jake, who is currently in a phase of life where he appears to believe that I am some combination of Cinderella, Hannah Montana and Snow White (according to Louise Bates Ames, this is a very normal way for an eight year old boy to feel about his mother) wants me to sing to him all the time. I comply because … Well, because I love singing, I love him and he told me that my voice sounds like “the lady who sings about the clowns.” That’s Judy Collins, for those of you who don’t spend your days listening to Sondheim singles.
After years of me singing my children to sleep, we’ve developed a new ritual, a new family bonding experience if you will. Jake and I now download videos from You-tube and singalong together. Lately, we’ve been listening quite frequently to Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which is a song I’ve been singing to Jake since he was an infant in my arms. I’m not sure why Jake wants to hear it so much these days, but for me, at least, there is no mystery. Whenever I reach the line “Dragons live forever, but not so little boys” I immediately hug the little boy warbling along with me, who will all-too-soon be a boy big enough to not want to sing along with his mother.
I used to wonder why so many lullabies are so haunting and depressing. Now that I am more than eight years into this experience called parenthood, I understand.
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