I like to sing.
I sang a lot growing up. At first my concerts mostly took place in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom with the anecdotal wooden spoon as a microphone. But my singing life really took off after my dad taught me all the lyrics to My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music on a really long car trip.
In high school I loved to participate in the choir and sing in musicals and add jazz hands to my solos. I got to wear a white tuxedo shirt with a sparkly blue bow tie and cumber bun in the chorale.
The ability to carry a tune is passed down from my father. One of my mom’s favorite stories about going to high school with my dad is that the choir teacher always had him start a song because he had perfect pitch. She was also told in choir, on several occasions, to listen to my dad to learn how a song should be sung.
So I back-stroked through my small pond of high school singing The Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of basketball games and belting out jingles while scampering around knocking people over with my (by then) infamous jazz hands on stage year after year in musicals. (Mind you, this was in the early 90′s, back before high school musicals were cool.)
Then in college, well, how do I put this?
I didn’t make the choir.
The pond turned into Lake Michigan. There were lots of kids who had fabluous jazz hands and vibrato and a million different colored bow ties. I bombed my freshman audition. My tie was placed up in the closet and the door closed on that part of my life. I adjusted, put my voice on the shelf and moved on.
I still love to sing though.
While dating, S dutifully listened to my ballads. In the beginning of our relationship he was always ready with a smile when I would ask, “would you like to hear me sing the theme song from Beaches… again?” Sometimes I got him to learn one of my songs on his guitar so that he could accompany me.
Sadly his enthusiasm for personal concerts has paled through the years.
Thankfully, though, I had children.
All three of my girls have been rocked and lullabied to sleep. Sometimes I still break into song if one of my older daughters are sad or bored. The problem is they join in and I prefer solos.
Now I am left with an audience of one. Polly loves music. She gives a big toothy smile when I sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider or The Wheels on The Bus. She even obliges a little Bette Midler or my earthy rendition of the Beatles’ Let It Be at meal time.
Friday at lunch she ate and I sang. When I finished, she clapped and signed “more music.”
You know, I do have a full length mirror upstairs…