Do you ever find yourself thinking back to when you were a kid and all of the [now] funny, crazy things you did? Having a child of my own, I find myself doing this a lot. I watch how Emily interacts and reacts to things – or how she goes off into her own little world – and it reminds me of times I did similar things while growing up.
Most recently…as in this past weekend…my thoughts went back to a time when I imagined my bedroom at home as a gigantic concert hall. I would close my door, put on my favorite Broadway CD (I mean – this wasn’t just a pop concert, people – it was a show!), and I would sing as if I were front and center on that Broadway stage. I saw the orchestra in front of me, the packed house with no seats to spare, and all spotlights and attention focused solely on me.
I did this just about every single day. Sometimes it would be the same song on repeat that I would sing. Other times it would be an entire musical I would sing through. No matter what it was, this was my own world. It was [and always has been] my ultimate dream.
This wasn’t just a “when I was a kid” stage either. I’ve always done this. And – in a moment of pure honesty…and because I disclose too much about myself at times – I still do this in my car today.
[Give me a break – you have some sort of “thing”, too.]
Those moments alone with my music and me – that’s my release. That’s my practice time. That’s where I just let loose, feel the music that I’m singing and let myself zone out. That’s where I can at least make this dream I’ve always had seem like some sort of reality.
If a certain part I sing is not up to my liking, I sing it again. If I don’t hold out the final note of a song as long as the person on the CD, I sing it again. Sub-par is not acceptable. I push myself just as much now [and then] as I would if I actually did this for a living. It’s my passion…so why wouldn’t I?
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you!” – Oprah Winfrey
What I have found this is *not*, however, is quiet. Little did I know that – while I was being serenaded with thunderous applause at the end of each song in my bedroom – my parents were listening…and my sister was probably praying I lost my voice at some moment in time. It never occurred to me that my room was not soundproof. When my door closed, I felt like I was a million miles away…when, in all actuality, my family probably wished I was. And in the car now? You can probably hear me coming down the road about five minutes before I actually get there. It’s just how I roll.
And now to my point…
For Christmas, Emily was given the soundtrack to her now favorite movie – Frozen. [Small disclaimer: it’s a fantastic movie and Idina Menzel sings in it – so you’re missing out if you haven’t seen it yet.]
The girl has seen the movie three times now and has memorized her favorite songs already. She is definitely my child – and I could *not* be more proud! Any time we were in the car this weekend, we listened to those songs.
What made my day was hearing her voice in the backseat, belting out these songs as if she, too – just like her daddy – was standing on a Broadway stage giving the performance of her life. She was in the zone. She was singing because she loves to sing and because it makes her happy. I found myself resting my head back on the headrest, closing my eyes, and just listening to this sweet, innocent voice. [Dusty was driving – don’t freak out.]
There were even a few parts where the two main characters sang together. I was invited by Emily to sing with her and obviously jumped at the chance to do so. Move over Idina & Kristin – there’s a new act coming to town. We pretty much killed those songs…in a good way. 😉
I don’t know what Emily’s true passion is – or if she’s even old enough to have one yet, really. Of course, in my heart of hearts, I would love to see her grow as attached to music as I have since I was her age. But I’m not one that will push her in that direction – she must feel that passion for herself.
That is one area where my parents did well. They supported my love of music. They often talked about how they would sit in the living room and just listen to me sing in my bedroom…that it was one of their favorite times. [But seriously – they didn’t have any indication when I sang mostly the girl songs…??] They found choirs for me to join – they paid for voice lessons – they attended the concerts whether they wanted to or not. I will always appreciate them for that.
And I hope that’s what I will experience with Emily – an appreciation and awareness that, no matter the passion or interest, I’m there with her…front and center. If it’s taking her to play practice, gymnastics practice, a voice lesson, her dance recital, or whatever else – I’m good to go.
But…if it’s just riding in the car, listening to her and/or singing along to our favorite songs together…well, I’m good with that, too.