And grin and say

by Jennifer on March 12, 2009

My girl loves to sing and she sings a lot.

Ask her brother.

Her repertoire (please roll your eyes at my use of the word) ranges  from Disney princess tunes to Carrie Underwood, from Veggie Tales to Laurie Berkner to the songs her class is practicing for their concert at school.

And just so you know that I’m doing my job, she can also belt out a little Steve Earle and Ray LaMontagne, with songs from the Eagles and James Taylor and Aretha Franklin woven through.

Every few months, she asks if she can audition for a musical sometime, and I say yes. An easy yes,  really, since I know that day isn’t here yet,  not even close. She’s only seven, so I’ve reached ahead and set that decision down, like a box, a few years into the future. It’s not that I don’t want her to give it a shot – I do, if that’s her thing and she really, really wants to try. (It helps that she can carry a tune, a skill she didn’t get from me.) But in my opinion, let’s see if this bucket holds water, you know? If she really does want it, then in five years or ten, she will still be interested. And if she wants voice lessons or more dance lessons in the meantime, I’ll be glad to make that happen when we can swing it.

A while back, she saw part of Annie (the movie) on TV and was charmed by the music. I told her I would download the soundtrack –  and then forgot all about it.

I can’t remember what sparked the conversation this afternoon, but something reminded us both. So to get her started, I helped her find videos of “Tomorrow” on YouTube, even one that displayed the lyrics. Perfect.

For a solid hour, she played that song over and over and over, picking up the words when she felt sure of herself.

And when that girl is sure of herself, she doesn’t hold back. You can hear the confidence in her voice, in the way it gathers strength and rises. She doesn’t seem to care if anyone is listening.

And that’s the biggest reason that I’ll write that check someday for voice lessons, if she wants them. If music is the thing that gives her that feeling, if she feels comfortable in her skin and with the sound of her voice, I’ll do whatever I can to help her.

Even if she only ever sings for herself (the only audience that matters, really). Or for us, or for the duck in the bathtub. Or into a hairbrush, or in her car, with the radio as backup.

Because that feeling, when it comes, is golden.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

V-Grrrl March 12, 2009 at 3:10 am

One of the best parts of being a parent for me is nurturing my children’s passions. I love to see what catches their attention, gives them focus and confidence, and what passes and what sticks. I love to share the dreams that keep them awake at night, the possibilities.


Mrs. Chili March 12, 2009 at 4:56 am

Okay, One? Shes gorgeous! Two; Mr. Chili likes to annoy the ever-loving crap out of me by belting out the first line of random show tunes and lodging the song firmly in my head for the rest of the day. “Tomorrow” is one that he knows grates on me like fingernails on the proverbial chalkboard, and I count it as a good day when he DOESN’T leave the house with the notes of Annie or Oklahoma drifting in his wake (of course, when he REALLY wants to be sure I’m thinking of him all day, he leaves me with some abominable 70s tune from the likes of Barry Manilow or the Bee Gees. Bastid).


tysdaddy March 12, 2009 at 5:00 am

My daughter gets this way when it comes to writing. She loves to write, anything really, and when she gets in her writing zone, she’s a joy to watch. Same with cooking. She’s one of those cooks that leaves a trail of flour in her wake, but the results are awesome.

Keep singing, little one . . .


jenrantsraves March 12, 2009 at 5:21 am

She is gorgeous! We should all do whatever it takes to encourage that feeling in our children. My kid has sadly inherited my singing voice, I fear. Or my husband’s. It’s a toss up which of us is worse, but lets just say American Idol is definitely not in our future.


Daryl March 12, 2009 at 6:13 am

Encouragement is the best form of support there is … as someone who is always asked NOT to sing, I envy her talent … occasionally I do get a song request .. its always for one I dont know the words to .. people always ask if I can sing Far Far Away


skywind March 12, 2009 at 6:22 am

So now that your daughter likes to sing. She should be allowed to have more long-term development.
Health is the Greatest Happiness
The World at The Present


we_be_toys March 12, 2009 at 6:23 am

Me and the Girl need to get together for a duet – I know all the Veggie Tales Silly Songs, as well as the entire score from Annie.
If you’re going to get her the soundtrack, get the original cast – Andrea McArdle has the most amazing voice – might as well learn from the best, right?

“Barbara Manatee! You are the one for me…!”


Smalltown Mom March 12, 2009 at 7:28 am



Green Girl March 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

Ah, my only regret is that I don’t have a voice I am confident to sing it–how lovely for your girl to be blessed with that–and to relish it!


pyzahn March 12, 2009 at 8:32 am

Introduce her to Vampire Weekend. Singing along with them is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Plus, they print their lyrics so big in the jacket liner, even us middle aged crooners can read them….while driving!


Manic Mommy March 12, 2009 at 10:15 am

Wonderful. I absolutely love it when the boys sing. Something from school, a Christmas carole, whatever. It lets me know they are happy. And it makes me happy.

I applaud your decisions regarding her career in music. They seem well thought out and eminently reasonable.


Chris March 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Look at those pretty curls. I admit I’m a bit envious… of the daughter and the curls. THAT feeling is golden. Lucky little girl to have a mother who recognizes it and supports her. Neat.


Indigo March 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I see here nurturing this feeling and taking it for the ride of her life later on. That confidence is almost unfounded at her age, it’s the beauty of her spirit that her mother sets free…Your the wind beneath her wings, let her soar as long as she may. (Hugs)Indigo


Indigo March 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm

here-her I’m an over enthusiastic typer. (Hugs)Indigo


the mama bird diaries March 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm

What a beauty. And i loved this post.


anymommy March 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

It sure is. She’s so gorgeous.


apathy lounge March 13, 2009 at 8:04 am

I love the fact that she sings without fear or provocation. I used to be like that. Not anymore.


Louise March 13, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I would love to hear her belt it out. I love that she has that kind of confidence. I hope you get it on video sometime.


fancy feet March 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm

This post is lovely. And all of that confidence? Even lovelier.


Momisodes March 13, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Indeed it is. That feeling is truly priceless. She is such a doll! That is wonderful she is asking to audition. It sounds like she may certainly have a passion for music and performing. And that kind of confidence is rare. Something you’ve helped to build within her. Something to treasure 🙂


jessica March 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm

when Phoebe first saw Annie, FORGET ABOUT IT! she sang Tomorrow over and over and over again and not even the whole song, mind you, just the main line: you know, Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love you….ughh, I can’t even write it b/c I think my head will explode


flutter March 14, 2009 at 12:05 am

I love her. LOVE HER!


Ree March 14, 2009 at 11:31 am

If her hair was red, she’d be the spitting image of Annie, too!


Jenn @ Juggling Life March 14, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I’d start saving your pennies–this story has musical theater writ large!


JCK March 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Golden, indeed. It starts early…this love of the musical.


Kimberly March 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

There is no sweeter sound than a child singing.

She is gorgeous!


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