I had an epiphany this last Christmas, about singing. I love to sing, and I can carry a tune well enough... not that anyone will ever hear me. I'm what you call a shy singer, meaning no one gets the performance except the van, the shower, the large group of people singing all at once; you get the drift. I was in choir in school, took singing lessons and have even been in a church choir or two - I really, really enjoy it. With all that experience, I'm fairly well grounded in what kind of voice I have. I'm a soprano, and when necessary, can do a mean imitation of a second soprano. First and foremost, tho, I'm a soprano. Yes, even for Handel's Messiah. Missy = soprano.
So it was with a certain amount of surprise that I realized I was singing alto this winter when I sang Christmas carols. How, in all my years of singing soprano, would I slip into an alto? Then, in a flash, my epiphany. I remembered snuggling with my mother, my head on her chest, absorbing the comfort of her alto voice resonating in her chest. It became clear to me that that was where I had learned the Christmas carols, nestled in my mother's arms as a child, and I echoed her voice, rather than my own.
That echoing of our parents' voices is something that happens to all parents at one time or another, I'd imagine. Ask anyone who has a child over the age of five, and it's a good bet that the words "I sounded just like my mother (or father) just then.... I swore I'd never say that!" have been uttered at some point. It was nice to have it be such a positive memory, a connection even, to sound like my mother.
This afternoon I was comforting my Maddie. She's sick today, listless and glassy-eyed. It seems a temperature of 103 has a way of making the most energetic little three year old girl stop in her tracks, and Maddie is no exception. Also like most three year olds, she sought comfort in her mother's arms. With her head nestled against my chest, I sang to my newest musical craving, Joshua Radin's album "We Were Here." The song I just can't get enough of, "Winter" came on, and I started singing the harmony along with it. I hit the repeat button on my stereo's remote to hear it just one more time. Suddenly, I wasn't able to sing for a bit, my heart in my throat. It was at that point that I noticed a soft, sweet voice rising from the little girl in my arms... singing harmony, just like her momma.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Every so often I will repost old blogs here for... no particular reason. Today's repost is from March of 2006 and is one of my all time favorites, because you're allowed to have a favorite blog. Favorite child? Notsomuch. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. : )