Had I not gotten up at four in the morning or spent hours toiling over what songs to put on this CD, I may have handled this situation more maturely. Alas, I was tired and bitchy so I said something to the effect of, “fine don’t listen to it even though we put all my heart into it especially for you, you ungrateful little turd.” Ok, so I didn’t really say that but that’s what I was thinking. What I did was huff and puff and leave the room. (Not much better.)
The thing is, then she listened to it, over and over again. She admitted she did like the songs. She asked about some of them and what they meant to me. I told her stories of my teenage years. I told her stories of her early days. I sang at the top of my lungs. I made her re-listen to lyrics and explained why they made me think of her, or her dad or that cute boy in the 10th grade.
We giggled. I cried. More than I care to think about. We sang badly. We danced around her room. Once in a while, I caught her looking at me the same way I looked at my mom when she talked about The USO or dancing with Johnny Mathis (“before he was gay”). She looked at me like I was her hero. Which, my mom was, especially when she talked about music. And, admit it, we all want to be for our kids now and then.
The Girl and I bonded over music, which was exactly what I hoped for in making this mix. Like all mixes I’ve made throughout my life, I wanted her as the recipient to feel the love I have for her through the songs I chose. I wanted her to know that each one meant something to me and thus sharing them with her was the ultimate gift. I think it worked. Never fear though, we’re still shopping for birthday clothes tomorrow. (Hold me.)
Here is a list and a video/audio sampling. I’m not arguing these are the greatest songs of all time. That CD comes later. These are just songs that either make me think of my little girl or songs(or artists) that little girls should know. I had to choose based on sounds I thought she’d like. It’s a Jedi Mind Trick to get her sucked in to artists I want on her playlist. Then I’ll push a little harder. Until then, here are some singer-songwriter doozies.
Rock (or gentle acoustically groove) on.
- Kristin Andreassen-Faith: Beyond the name sake, the lyrics are perfect for a mom expecting a wee one. It’s probably a love song, but really, who deserves a love song more than your unborn babe? ” There were times I was filled with times. There were other time I had it all figured out. And in both these times I had come to believe I was dreaming. BUt now I find out you are a dream to believe in.”
- Norah Jones-Don’t Know Why-Every night, for nine months, multiple times mid-day and mid-night, we danced together. I can feel the cold floor under my feet and see the darkness of that huge yard out of the sliding glass windows. This song will always bring me back to those first days with my baby girl. Always.
- Ray LaMontagne-You are the Best Thing- I mean, duh.
- Billy Joel-Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)
- Sam Cooke-You Send Me
- Indigo Girls-Power of Two: Check out inside Dad’s wedding ring.
- Bob Marley-3 Little Birds: Who gets through the teenage years without this song?
- Blackbird-The Beatles- I think this one gave her street cred with her new favorite teacher who is a huge Beatles fan. But if that’s the only reason she likes it, I’ll take it.
- Fleetwood Mac-Songbird: I hope she sings it in her room for hours like me. I hope she’s not as sad when she does.
- John Mayer-The Heart of Life: This one just makes me think of her and her boundless spirit.”It won’t always go the way it should but I know the heart of life is good.” I hope her “circle of friends defends the silver lining” just like mine always has.
- Bruce Springsteen-Jersey Girl: She better learn it now.
- Indigo Girls-Closer to Fine: If you were a girl, born between 1970 and 1980 you had this song etched into your brain because they “so got you”. Here’s to the next generation of karaoke.
- David Gray-You’re the World to Me
- Colbie Caillat-I Do: This one was the bone I threw for The Girl. The only song on her she knows.
- The Cure-Friday I’m in Love: I know she’ll have her windows down song when she drives. Just wanted her to know one of mine.
- Stevie Wonder-Signed, Sealed, Delivered-Not my favorite of his, but everyone needs Stevie so I picked one I hoped would be catchy enough to hook her in.
- India Arie-The Heart of the Matter: I hesitate to pick “favorite songs” because I love so much music. But this one might be on that list. Don Henley hooked me in but I love this version better and I thought the girl would too. Listen.
- The Weepies-Somebody Loved: Because you do lovely girl.
- The Beatles-Here Comes the Sun: Again, hook ’em in with the easy stuff then make them love more.
- Ben Taylor-You Belong to Me: Not Patti Page, but dreamy as well.
- The Cranberries-Dreams: “Mom, the music of your time was good but the bands had weird names.” Yup.
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.