Just like all kids, I had dreams. BIG, big dreams.
For instance, I wanted to be a figure skater for ages. They had beautiful costumes and were so graceful. But then one day I realized that since the freezer in my kitchen was the only time I ever saw ice, and that in itself was rare since the freezer was up high and I was not even in grade school yet, there was no way that was ever going to happen.
Then, I watched the Nutcraker ballet on TV and fell in love with being a ballerina. Those costumes were even better than figure skaters’ and it didn’t require ice. Every year I looked forward to the annual broadcast of that ballet at Christmastime. BUT since my parents thought dancing was sinful and god forbid some man wearing a codpiece touched me there during a lift, my chances of scoring lessons were slim to none. After a few years I gave up on that dream, too.
Then ROCK music came into my life. Well, my parents version of “rock” is not really rock but it was the only thing with a beat of any kind that I was allowed to listen to back then (think Amy Grant before she was “disgraced” or Micheal W. Smith). These were songs that I could feel. I just had to sing to them and I figured I was pretty good at it, too. At least I sounded good in my room with the radio turned up loud. My mother sang solos in church from time to time so it was in my blood, right? All I needed now was to be discovered…
In short order I had my entire career as a vocal star laid out and I took every opportunity that I could to sing in public until one day I recorded myself singing and then played it back. Cue the record scratch. It sounded horrible. Just like that, my music career was over before it had even begun.
After that, I stopped singing in public. I lost my voice so to speak. I would rather stand completely naked in front of a crowded room than to be asked to sing in front of them. I still sing in secret, though… In retrospect, it was the 80’s. The recording device I use using was from the late 70’s. It might not have been my voice that was the problem. Or maybe it was. I am not sure you can be a good judge of your own voice, really.
I say all of that to say that my son has started singing. He has always flat out refused to sing anything except for a few instances of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” sung in the darkness of bedtime when he was a toddler. It was like a switch flipped on all of a sudden a few weeks ago and now he is singing with gusto, with passion and emotion.
As I watch him in the rear view mirror, it is an instant flashback to the time before my own infamous playback. He has a good voice, actually. I hope he sticks with it. I discovered something, too. When I join in with him, he does not scream and clamp his hands over his ears, begging for me to stop.
Now that he has found his voice, I hope he keeps it. It feels good to have someone to sing with….