I just got home from grocery shopping (alone-what a treat!) and I was belting out the song Just Breathe by Anna Nalik the whole way there and back. I love that song. I sing it like it’s me who wrote it. It makes me feel all cool and tortured artsy when I do. Embarrassing but true. It reminds me of my friend Erin (who totally could have written and sang it).
The song Breathe got me thinking about how for my whole life music has had such a huge impact on me. I don’t mean in the I’m cool enough to be a musician kind of way-because I’m not. I mean in the- I can mark time by songs-way. I know exactly where in my life I was when certain songs play. I can remember sites, sounds, smells and the way I was feeling at certain events just based on hearing a song that was playing-in the background(!)- at the time. There are songs that will always make me think of certain people no matter what. There is one song my husband tried to make “ours” that didn’t work because it was already a high school boyfriend’s. In fact, that guy ruined a whole band for poor Kevin. There are songs that instantly take me back to muddy fraternity parties or concerts at Merriweather Post just out of college where our lives were still just simple enough that concert drama(my high school teacher arrested for smoking weed!!) was a big deal. Every time I hear them on the radio, I can still feel Bono’s sweat on me from a concert in high school. (Thank you Kathleen for being a U2 fanclub member and sharing your seats with me!)
This musical sixth sense makes for pretty schizophrenic car rides when sad, happy, mad and again sad songs come on in a row. I don’t cry much-but music does it to me every time. I especially love the roll your windows down (and in the good ole’ days light a smoke) songs that you hear in the car on the first warm day of spring (Summertime-Will Smith).
Tonight when I got home from the grocery my daughter was crying in bed because there was a song she heard about brothers that made her cry and she didn’t understand why. Kevin (who feels exactly like me musically, although his taste is suspect) was trying to explain that songs sometimes make you cry and it is ok. All I could do was curl up next to her in bed and thank the Heavens that she inherited this musical gene, because her life will be richer for it.
Gloria was right-the music IS gonna get you.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.