Tell her Pete sent you.
It's funny what kids hang onto. This song by the Avett Brothers, for instance. I got into it a few months ago and started playing it while we were out and about, thinking the boys might like it. To my surprise, they started requesting it. I can see why. It's sweet and simple and above all - very clear. The sentences are short and kid-friendly. The production is simple with heavy emphasis on the voices and piano.
What I didn't expect was them to sit and listen to it in rapt attention all the way through. It's a five minute song. It's also rather melancholy. Still, I have a theory on why they paid so much attention.
First, I told them early on that the singers were brothers. You know, easily relatable to their lives. Two brothers who grew up playing music together. Vincent started asking which brother was singing which part. I showed him the video so he could put faces to the voices. Now he keeps a running play-by-play whenever we listen to it. ("That's the brother with the long hair who plays piano, not the brother with the beard who plays the drums.")
There's also significance to the song's use of Brooklyn. Though they've never been there, the boys know it pretty well. A couple of their favorite books take place there - Sara Varon's Chicken and Cat Clean Up and Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny. We also have good friends who live there that the boys chat with every now and then, who also send cool presents - including one of the aforementioned books. And finally, whenever we visit cousins Joe, Rachel & John, we drive past parts of Brooklyn, including Coney Island. They've come about as close as a 5 and 2 1/2 year old can come without actually visiting, so in their own way, they must find comfort in the song's chorus.
Finally, I can't say how awesome it feels to see my kids enjoying music. It's one thing to see them dancing along to Yo Gabba Gabba (kind of awesome in its own right). It's another thing altogether to share a song. Especially an unexpected one.
So for people like you and me that aren't big fans of January, it takes a nice little light of perspective to say, "Hey Jim. Stop it. Things are fine. Wear a scarf and deal."
This week, that perspective was coming home to Peter asking me to blow up this Whoopee Cushion again and again so he could, "make toot sounds."
He'd put it on the couch and hop on top of it, erupting in laughter. He'd squeeze it between his hands. He'd just walk around with it.
And it was great. It's the little things. Thanks, pretend flatulence device.
Reason #4,567 why I love my kids.
I'm ready to ice skate! ARE YOU!?
But not yet. Getting back to the grind has been more difficult than expected and thus, this cuteness dissemination portal has been left dormant.
Not for much longer, friends.
Happy New Year!