I have always loved music. I have a vivid memory of my first boom box playing Whitney Houston full blast with a certain seven year old belting out the tunes. My father taught me to sing using hymnals in the bathroom of our home. Ms. Cass connected my very raw talent with a little technique and I was hooked. I sang my way through high school, youth group and eventually my own band.
Aw, I miss those guys….
Last weekend my oldest son asked me who my favorite band is.
This simple question excited me so much. I love to share things that I love with my kids. I would bet that most parents do. When they go to bed I play Norah Jones or Billy Holiday to relax their minds. In the morning we start our days with the enthusiastic beats of the Black Eyed Peas and the Ting Tings. While we hang out John Mayer or Lauren Hill are singing in the background. When our spirits are hungry we listen to worship led by Chris Tomlin or Jennifer Knapp.
There are days when my son is playing in his room and I hear him singing a song by his favorite band Rush of Fools about how he “Can’t Get Away” and I am assured of his finding his own faith. I have a short window of time to weed out Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers and fill their heads with Bob Marley and Sade. I probably am not giving the newer artists credit for their talent but that’s what old people do and I am almost thirty (note their are no hyperlinks to them).
Because of my love for words all of my favorite artists have lyrics that speak to me. I love Lupe Fiasco and Tori Amos. I love Caedmon’s Call and Ani DiFranco. I love to hear people talk about their souls honestly. I don’t have to agree but I do have to feel it. I do have to understand their feelings on some level. I hope that I can teach that to my children.
Music is not about how much noise you can fill a room with. It’s about how you make the listener feel. It’s about how I feel when Sade says, “I’ve paid for all of my future sins...” It’s how I can’t help but hop out of bed when I hear will.i.am say, “It’s a new day!” I find that the songs I sing to my children are not typical lullabies but love songs that were meant to convey a different message. We sometimes dance to Selena to remind me of where I was raised and all of my Hispanic friends teaching me to dance to Tejano music.
Te quiero mucho, senoras!
This week I am going to go through my collection of music and share my favorites with my boys. Intentionally, not by just playing it around them and . It won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last time they hear me singing. This begins the lesson in why what we hear is so important. Why we don’t listen to bitches and hos and why we do only, “sleep with butterflies“.
Someday when my children talk about the music their mother listened to they will know my purpose by my song choices. Just like my step dads records are the starting reference for my list of great music. The very same selection I will sneak back to the house from his deathbed to claim. (Love you Daddy!) I’ll have to be quick to beat my siblings. We will all want the Bill Cosby records, Earth Wind and Fire, Aretha Franklin and the Sugarhill Gang records that were the soundtrack to our lives. My father’s purpose gave me great rhythm and pride in my African-American culture. Among other things that cannot be listed here.
This is the making of the band, these brothers and their mother’s purpose. What I wish for them. What I wants their minds to rest on. What their minds rest on their hearts will accept and that is how they will lead their lives. The way they lead their lives is the most important product of my purpose.
Heavy. I know it is. That is why being a mother is so hard.
This week as I share my favorite songs with my boys I will document some of them for all of us to share on my BM page. What are some of the musicians that you want to share with your children and why? My friend at Big Little Days has a song chosen for all of her blog posts with the title The Song Remembers When. You can check out her fanpage here. Don’t you just love that? I hope that you will share what songs “remember when” for your family as I share my favorites with you throughout this week.