The Soundtrack to Childhood

It’s Saturday. That means my husband is working on a project (or three) in the yard, my kids are playing in and out, I’m busy with photos, and music is playing in the house. It’s our ideal Saturday, and what we do whenever we have the day to ourselves.
Over the past couple of days whenever there is music playing, it’s likely been a Prince song. If there has been anything on our TV, it’s been a Prince music video, or Purple Rain.
I am truly taken back by the passing of Prince and it has me thinking. Really thinking. About music, artistry, childhood and memories.
I was blessed to have parents who listened to music a lot when I was growing up. They had great taste in music.
And today, when I hear “Got Me Under Pressure” by ZZ Top, I instantly remember my dad driving our van to Florida for our family vacations, that we did every single year, even though my parents were broke. When I hear Def Leppard I remember the “concerts” my brothers and I used to put on in our living room that our parents always made time to sit down and watch. And I remember how they always made us feel like it was the best show they’d ever seen.
My mom passed away more than 3 years ago, but every time I hear Rod Stewart, Don Henley or Bob Seger on the radio, I feel like she’s playing it just for me. Because she played it all the time when I was a kid. And she let me know how much she loved it. She would dance and sing along to it. If it would come on the radio, she’d run to turn it up.
And every Prince song I hear brings back a thousand memories of my life. Of my adolescence. Of the friendships that were cultivated in my childhood and stand strong today.
I have a terrible memory, which makes me especially grateful for these songs and how they help me to remember my childhood.
And I think we have a responsibility as parents to put music into our children’s lives. We are creating the soundtrack to their childhood. These songs we play when they’re little are the songs that they will hear as adults and remember. These songs will have memories attached to them.
I hope that when my kids are grown, they’ll hear Prince and Kings of Leon and Heart, and that they’ll think of me, and remember me playing them all the time and singing along.
I make a conscious effort to play all kinds of music for my kids. I play the classics and oldies, and stuff I grew up with, and stuff that is current. I talk to them about musicians that I admire and respect and tell them about the memories I have connected to specific songs.
Music is art, and I will to teach them to love and appreciate it. I want them to have the gift of music, even if they don’t ever learn to sing, or play an instrument, or read music.

I’m confident that someday, they’ll be glad I did. <3

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