Editor’s Note: We love hearing stories about the ways different families are making memories that their children will never forget. Enjoy this guest blog post from NYC Dads Group member, Matthew Pasher.
Let me start by saying I love music in all shapes and forms. I remember fondly when I was 13 years old recovering from a ruptured spleen a friend bought me the album Get the Knack and I couldn’t stop singing “My Sharona” for months. There are certain song’s that you need to get out of your head when they get in there. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” may be one of the worst, but I digress.
My wife and I agreed that after our daughter was born that music would play a large part in her life because it was a large part of ours. My wife is a wonderful singer and songwriter (unpublished as of yet) and I have been known to be able to carry a tune. From the time we brought her home we have always tried to have music playing in one form or another.
From Elizabeth Mitchell to Father Goose to the soundtrack of Hairspray, someone is always singing in our home. Lately, there have been three songs that have been predominant. It is either “John the Rabbit”, “Hey Bo Diddley”, or “I Like to Move it Move it”. Our daughter requests those whenever something else is playing that she does not particularly care for. Like her mom and dad as well, she is developing a discerning ear for what she does and does not like.
When Naomi began to speak she would always ask me to sing her a song when she went to bed, and I would always ask her what she wanted the song to be about. There was one night when she said, “sing a song about a tiger daddy”. Of course, I was up the creek as I couldn’t think of something until what popped into my head was that classic by Survivor “Eye of the Tiger”. Since then my daughter can sing the refrain with me. Singing songs that I love such as “We will Rock You” and “Yellow Submarine” with her are also etched in my brain. Whenever I start singing she joins in and it warms my heart because this is something that we truly share.
What has been so strange about this process is that whenever I find myself singing albeit when I’m writing, or showering or just hanging out, I will sing John the Rabbit or the Sesame Street theme or the Elizabeth Mitchell version of “Hey Bo Diddley.” I long to sing “My Sharona,” “Sympathy for the Devil” or “Rock the Casbah” but I seem to have forgotten the words. When I think about it though it is more than that. I connect with the things that right now gives me the most joy.
Many of the things that we do together as a family have music attached. I spent lots of time this past summer in Madison Square Park listening to music with my daughter. We have song and dance parties in our living room. We try to go to live music events throughout the city. We take her to our Synagogue on Friday nights where there are musicians playing and singing wonderful niggunim (a Hebrew word for melodies). We are doing things that we love and enjoy and are extremely fortunate that our daughter shares that love with us.
If it is a joint love of fishing, baking cookies, doing ballet or reading, finding that to share with my family has been very special. When things are tough, or I feel a bit sad, what better way to get me out of that funk than to think about singing Yellow Submarine with my wife and daughter? While I write this I can’t help but think about Casablanca and the last time Rick and Ilsa would see one another. “We’ll always have Paris.” Singing and dancing with my daughter and wife will always be my Paris. I recommend that you find your “Paris” with your family as the rewards are never-ending.