If you could change one thing about yourself that is impossible to change, what would it be?
For me, I would want to be taller–maybe 5’7″ and sing! You know, stand on stage, close your eyes and let your soul pour out like a heavy downpour-sing. Get lost in the depth of the words-sing. Like Bonnie Rait, Tina Turner, Francesca Battistelli, Stevie Nicks, or on stage singing a duet with Bon Jovi-sing! Yes, I have had that dream and if you are honest, you have too (insert a big smile here). How awesome would that be!!
And she wrote ‘Tathel Lackey sings worse than I do.’
Written bold in black ink, words that cut deeper than any sharp blade. Words that silenced my song voice.
She saw my hurt and she laughed. Laughed in her youth’s giggle and said, ‘oh I must have been mad at you for something that day.’
Fifth grade. One of my best friends since kindergarten. Elementary school years can be hard on a young heart.
A few months ago I was blessed to attend a local event in our community, “Champions for Children” sponsored by Wilkes Community Partnership for Children. The special speaker was Dr. Thomas Moore, an early childhood educator, singer, songwriter, and musician. And on that particular day, Dr. Moore’s words took me back to the fifth grade, but more importantly to my grandson’s smile.
As an infant my grand baby boy suffered from colic and when I would visit he and I would spend time walking outside or wrapped up in a blanket on the porch swing. I would sing to him, but never in hearing distance of any adult. Most of the time he would close his sweet eyes and dream after a few songs. I made up a song for just our ears only, Sing Little Children, and I would sing a familiar simple child’s hymnal, Deep and Wide. “Deep and Wide, There’s a Fountain Flowing Deep and Wide.”
A heartfelt thank you to Jill Woodie Photography for the use of this photo
The truth is I had no shame in singing to this precious little boy because no one could hear my off-key notes.
A few weeks ago, my grand baby boy who is now three years old–I was holding him, his little head on my shoulder trying to fall asleep. A lot of time has passed since I sang to him as a baby. But on this day I began the familiar song, Deep and Wide. As we walked, I moved closer to the window to get a glimpse of his reflection. What I saw were precious eyes almost in sleep and a smile. He knew. He remembered. He remembered the not so perfect voice and the off-key notes.
As teachers, parents, grandparents, and those who work with children, we do become transformed and on any given day we become artists, dancers, athletes, actors, and yes, even singers!
Dr. Moore had it right when he said, “When we open our hearts to children we become different people (and) when a child walks into a room, you are transformed. A child can make you feel as though you can do anything. So sing to children, sing with children and sing loud!”
A special thank you to Wilkes Community Partnership for Children and to all the early childhood educators. You are making a difference in the hearts and homes of children and their parents, and in our community.