I am sure that almost everyone has heard the Nietzsche quote "That which does not kill me makes me stronger"...and I know that I can speak with certainty in saying that Nietzsche was definitely not a stay at home mom. Especially during a week of solid rain. When out of sheer necessity I let the kids play out in it. My kids love playing in the rain-they love splashing, kicking up mud, getting wet. What they don't love however, is BEING wet. A damp shirt sleeve or sock can lead to a breakdown. So in and out of the house they trudge..constantly changing clothes-only to go outside and do it all over again. Which means there is a lot of laundry.
Rain to me, means endless loads of laundry ...put it in, take it out, put it in the dryer, take it out, fold it, put it in the basket, bring it upstairs and put it away...then start another load put it in, take it out ,put it in the dryer, take it out.. put it in the basket..and before you know it, I'm channeling Paul Robson -singing my own particular version of "Ol' Man River""I gits weary an' sick of tryin', ah'm tired of livin' an skeered of (DRYING) But ol' man river he jes' keeps rollin' along.." I amuse myself to no end..my kids though...my kids just give me that "Mama's being weird again" look and carry on. They are used to me....my bursting into interesting song.
Music is a big part of our household. I have it on all the time. We listen to everything... with the exception of children's music. There is no place for it...well maybe except for in hell. (I can just imagine what that would be like..being locked in a room with a giant purple dinosaur singing "I love you..." for all eternity)...No, we listen to the good stuff-from alternative to zydeco and everything in between. Music is what holds us together in both the best and worst of times.
"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend knotted oak.-William Congreve
I think that I could attach a song to each of my most important memories. My first kiss (the theme to "The Newlywed Game"-hey I was like six years old!) my wedding song (Van Morrison-"Wild Nights)... every life has its own sound track. Only now, mine includes my kids and their experiences. My most memorable surrounds Oscar. I remember a time when screaming seemed to be Oscars only way of communicating. It was as if he could not find any other way of expressing his needs, discomfort, stress or fear..and there did not seem to be anything that I could do to comfort him. There were days where I would lock myself away in the bathroom just to try and compose myself. I was so torn between wanting-NEEDING to help him and at the same time fantasizing about running away from home. One afternoon after a marathon screamfest..I did the only thing that I could think to do. I put on music.. "The Dixie Chicks-Top of The World" and it was simply... magic. Gradually, slowly, he stopped...HE STOPPED. His body relaxed and began to sway in time with the music...especially when the violins played. For the first time in what felt like an eternity, he was calm. I must have played that song at least fifty times that night. Over and over-until we could both breathe..until we could just...be. We found a pattern-a rhythm...a way to communicate. I am so thankful for being able to find the right tool-the thing that worked. Thank god for music...thank god for the "Dixie Chicks".
The other night, I was up to my knees in dirty laundry, the dishes needed to be done, the garbage taken out, the dogs walked...I was a woman overwhelmed. I decided to turn up the music..it just so happened to be the "The Dixie Chicks"...Oscar came running in.."the Dixie chicks" Mama! The "Dixie Chicks" dance mama! Dance!" What else could I do?...I kicked aside the laundry and took his hand.