“Sing, Sing a Song; Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Strong! Sing of Good Things, Not Bad; Sing of Happy, Not Sad. Sing, Sing a Song; Make it Simple to Last Your Whole Life Long! DON’T WORRY IF IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ANYONE ELSE TO HEAR, JUST SING, Sing a Song.” ~ (Sesame Street, 1982)
On most evenings, I have the pleasure to put my son to bed. We’ve developed quite the routine over our two and a half years together. The first ten minutes or so are spent convincing my namesake that it really is bedtime, and Daddy and Mommy aren’t too concerned about basketball, football, or “Go Diego Go” at this time in the day. It’s all about bath, butt, and bed.
After this careful sequence of events ends, we go into the “night-night” mode. TJ picks out a book of his choice (usually one of Michael Jordan’s childhood stories as illustrated by the great Kadir Nelson), and we read. After that, we turn off the light and go into prayer time. We ask God’s blessing on everyone he knows. Now, you may be laughing about “everyone” he knows at 2.5 years old, well, my son is already a socialite (wonder who he got that from?) and the list is long. After our multiple Amens, I lay him down in his bed and implore him to “be a good boy” and go night-night. 50% of the time he obliges.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was listening to some first-school hip-hop, more specifically Kurtis Blow. My son heard the ever famous chorus “They’re Playin’ Bas-ket-Ball, We Love that Bas-ket-Ball…” He went monkey-nuts! He wants to hear Kurtis Blow every minute of every day.
What you may not know about my son, he’s an above average kid when it comes to intelligence (I have to give his mother credit for that one). He figured, since there is a basketball song, there must be a baseball song…and a football song…and a golf song…and a, and a, and a….
So hear I am, substituting reading time for song time at night. We sing everything from Kurtis Blow to “the wheels on the bus go round and round.” I started to reflect on my favorite songs as a 2-3 year old. What did I love to hear? What calmed my sweet little soul before bedtime. What made me smile during my innocence? That one is easy…
Sesame Street’s “Sing”.
So I began to sing to my son…Sing, Sing a Song…
By the time I got to the second verse, I got choked up! Immediately, I wondered why I was near tears (well maybe an inch or two past “near”), about a Sesame Street Song from the early 80’s?
I know why. That song encourages children not to lose their courage and their song. “Don’t Worry if it’s Not Good Enough, For Anyone Else to Hear…Just Sing!”
What happened to that child-like courage? What happens to our songs? Why are we so concerned as adults to sing our songs of comfort with every ounce of voice we have?
In a simple word; Life. Life happened to us. Life happened to me. I allowed the deafening noises of doubt, greed, selfishness, pain, worry, fear, hatred, bigotry, and relationships to drown out my song and send me to a place where I really need to know “how to get to Sesame Street?”
Well I’m thankful that I have children, both of my own, and those who I call mentees, little brothers and sisters; who through their sheer joy and zest for life remind me of how to get to Sesame Street in my heart and sing my song.
Next time life sends you on a trip; search the mapquest of your heart, and get the directions to Sesame Street! Find your song, and sing it! Somebody else might need to hear!
Love, Peace, and Cookie Monsters,
For Your Reflection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dHg7_Zettc&feature=related