Blame it on One Direction.
Blame it on Pilates.
In the past couple months, I’ve realized our family needs to get its groove back. Or find its groove to begin with.
We don’t have enough music in our lives.
Like most things, this all started when we had kids….
You know the scene in Sound of Music, when the Von Trapp kids tell Maria that there hasn’t been any music in their house since their mother died?
In out house, the moratorium on music began with births, not deaths.
With the birth of each child, music seemed less appropriate, less of a priority, less of something we needed. Every time I turned on the radio or an old CD, all the lyrics seemed to be about sex.
If I played “Brown Eyed Girl” for Catie, I no longer heard the sweet chorus some boy would surely sing to her one day. Instead, I heard, “making love in the green grass, behind the stadium with you….”
So, by the time the twins were born, and then Nate was born, I was pretty much done with any music with lyrics because, again, all the sex lyrics.
This left us listening to Classical (obviously my kids were born during the Baby Einstein Boom) and Kids Jesus Music.
Nothing wrong with Classical or Kids Jesus Music. So much is RIGHT with CDs that calm our kids rather than ratcheting up the chaos level around here.
Also, so much is RIGHT about music that teaches our kids “Jesus Loves Me!” and “This Little Light of Mine! I’m Gonna Let It Shine!”
But after roughly a decade of only these two genres of music, we were hitting a proverbial flat note.
A few months ago, Catie discovered One Direction. For those of you who haven’t heard their music, think Boy Band. Except way cheesier and Boy Band-ish than you’re imagining. In other words, over-synthesized melodies with rhyming lyrics like, “Don’t need make-up/to cover-up/Being the way that you are is enough!” Everyone in our house knew these lyrics because Catie listens to “What Makes You Beautiful” hundreds of times in a row.
And very, very loudly.
(I feel like I should mention here that when I was nine years old, I would have also loved One Direction. I would’ve listened to them hundreds of times a day. So, while I totally understand her interest, it’s also A LOT of the same song.)
At the same time One Direction was dominating the sound molecules in our home, I was slugging it out at Pilates. Here’s what I discovered, good music was the key to surviving Summer Pilates Classes; it makes you want to move.
So, while our home was suffering through poor pop music, I was sweating to Alicia Keys and remembering that there is still lots of good music in the world. Music can still make you happy.
With that discovery, I invited each kid to make a playlist for our Midwest trip. I told them they could choose any song they wanted. If we didn’t have it, we would find it. Want songs about ninjas? We’ll find it. Want something about Jesus fighting Bad Guys? We will find it. Want something about Girls Only or about Driving in the Car? We’ll buy it on iTunes.
Then, we burned each kid’s playlist onto a CD for the trip.
You would not believe the amount of dancing this project has unleashed in our house. And not just kid-dancing, but grown-up dancing too. Really, I’m dancing the most around here.
Because I had forgotten how much fun it is to dance to really good music.
Just like I always forget how good donuts are. I constantly tell my kids how much sugar is in granola bars or fruit snacks, until they’re not even listening any more. And then once in a while, I take them to Shipleys and order a dozen hot, fresh glazed donuts. We bite into them, they melt in our mouths, and we bond over how good they are. The kids look at me in wonder: she actually LIKES these? Just like they look at me when I dance to “22” with them. “She actually LIKES this?”
The kids are learning Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, George Strait, Indigo Girls, Alicia Keys, Chris Tomlin, Jamie Grace, Queen, Taylor Swift, They Might Be Giants, U2, and Michael W. Smith. And yes, we are still listening to lots and lots of One Direction.
The music moratorium has lifted to make room for impromptu dance parties in the kitchen and rocking out in the minivan. And yeah, too many songs talk about sex. But guess what? Our kids have NO IDEA. Most of the time the volume is so loud, they can’t even understand the lyrics.
Here’s to good music.
Here’s to many, many more dance parties.