My daughter is a Rockstar. Just ask her.
And she insists on ‘practicing,’ loudly. With choreography. Every single day.
Some days I find it charming, other days… well, there are quite a few other days.
Last night the song of choice was “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. I gotta admit, this one’s pretty catchy, if not particularly imaginative. For awhile I’m enjoying watching her throw her hands up in the air, yelling Aaayyo! but only for awhile. Because here’s the thing. Sister never knows more than a few lines of the songs she brings home from school. Because her mom is lame and listens to Norah Jones. So my little superstar compensates by belting out the two lines she does know with great gusto and huge spinning dance moves over and over… and over. Just when I’m ready to rip my ears off, she stops, looks me straight in the eye and says with great wonder and pride,
“Wow, momma, I don’t know what it is, it’s like my voice was made for this song and all of a sudden I can just sing it perfectly!”
And she means this with 100% of her little off-key heart.
I’m having an odd moment both trying not to laugh and realizing that that’s me standing there 20 years ago. Then she asks the question.
“Momma, will you teach me all the words to it? ‘Cause all my friends know it and they always sing it at school and I try but I don’t know most of it and please please can you help me?”
29-year-old me thinks, “It’s bedtime. Absolutely not. And besides, you shouldn’t struggle to fit in by learning a stupid song.”
10-year-old with acceptance issues me thinks, “OMG she thinks I’m cool enough to actually know the song! Heck yeah I’ll help!”
So which me wins?
Ten minutes and one Itune download later her bed is a stage, our pajamas are pleather pants, and we are taking the music world by storm. We are singing (yelling), making up words when we’re lost, giving each other big ‘head nod’ cues, and shaking our tushies for all it’s worth. In the back of my mind, I am indeed 10 years old, rewinding my New Kids On The Block cassette tape again and again (sometimes using a pencil because my tape player was crap) determined to learn every word to “Step by Step” if it took me all night. And then croon it till the cows come home. Lucky for me (unlucky for my brothers), cows apparently have great hearing and were smart enough to stay far far away.
We must have replayed that song 30 times, each time singing a little louder and a lot more off key. The clock crept way past bedtime, but I know the time of her coming to me for help will end soon enough, so I let it pass. Besides, let’s be honest, I don’t know which of us was having more fun. In that moment, I was learning NKOTB at ten years old, singing along to Twisted Sister with my best friend Fathom at 16, belting out a bluesy Bonnie Rait with my roomie Rhi in college and, yes, I was being Momma, too, helping her best girl learn the coolest song in third grade. And as it turns out, I can still wield a mean hairbrush-microphone.
Rock on, lil mama. Rock on.
Photos of my beautiful dumplin' brought to you by the talent of ...
First two photos - copyright Robin Binder
Last photo - copyright Marc Binder http://www.thephotobinder.com/.Third photo - copyright Andrea Creppel Photography