I think we just made the most important addition to the babies’ room. No, I am not talking about the 8×10 portrait of Knightley, although I do think that is incredibly important as a symbolic reminder that Knightley will always look out for the boys. I am talking about the record/cd/tape/am/fm radio player that David purchased on Black Friday. When my sisters and I were little girls living on a farm in Monticello, Mississippi, our Fisher Price record player was our most beloved possession. We really didn’t need much else. I credit that record player with helping us each learn how to read (we had those story books where you followed along with the book to the record), aside from giving us a passion for music and a love for interpretative, creative dance. We could listen to our Disney records for hours. When I was gifted the Go-Gos Beauty and the Beat album, it was the greatest childhood gift that I received. It was for my 4th birthday. When we moved to Pensacola, I thought the record got lost in the move and so I begged my mom to by another copy. She did. Eventually, we found it and I had two copies of Beauty and the Beat that I spun endlessly in the room Melissa and I shared.
I could talk at great length about some of the other records we listened to all the time – the revelation that Mickey Mouse’s Mousercize album was to us in the 1980’s Jazzercise age, how my mom’s folk records opened us up to protest music, our love for dancing to the Nutcracker record on Sunday afternoons, or how we learned about my dad’s love for Olivia Newton John through his record collection. The point is, music alone kept us entertained and enabled our own creativity. That is what I am hoping for with the boys. Melissa passed me down some great CDs to introduce kids to music from all over the world, and I am hoping I can convince my mom to bring up some of our favorite childhood records that she still keeps. Maybe when my kids get older, I can introduce them to the old-fashioned 1990’s concept of the perfect mix tape, through some of the ones I still possess.
The point is, I love remembering what listening to music did to my kid brain, and I hope that it has the same effect on my children’s brains. It is a small part of my childhood happiness that I want them to possess.