I used to call my piano, ‘My baby’. I’m not too sure what to call it now that I have a real baby.
It’s an electric piano. Maybe it doesn’t even need a name.
But that piano is important.
It is loved. Cherished, even. Shouldn’t something that is all of those things have a name?
When I was pregnant, I played and sang to my unborn baby. As I sang, I closed my eyes and let the music take me away and, as it did, I dreamed of two things.
The first was that the little tiny being growing within me could hear the music. Hear my voice. Hear his Mummy singing to him. I hoped that he might even be able to feel the music through me as I sang. There is nothing quite like the feeling of music vibrating just below the skin. It is like a warm light, cursing through the veins.
The second dream I had was that, when this little one was old enough, he might choose music, just as I had. Or that music might choose him. Mister C and I both have music in our blood so there would be bonus points for a baby born with musical talent.
At 24 weeks pregnant, Mister C and I performed at a wedding. We practiced and practiced and our little one was in there the whole time, listening, or not. I could never tell. But for at least three weeks of rehearsals, Baby C was surrounded by song.
When my beautiful little boy was 6 months old, I sang in a show for the first time in a few years. I was to sing one song and I wanted to nail it. So I practiced. And practiced. And practiced some more. The same song, over and over. My little Baby C would lay on his play mat while Mummy rehearsed on repeat. He seemed to enjoy the process as much as I did.
When the show was over, I had no need to rehearse any more. I wondered whether Baby C would miss Mummy’s daily song. It had, after all, become a part of our routine.
The weeks went by and he didn’t seem to notice its absence. But I had to try it. I had to see. I would sing to him again.
I would sing him that song.
I’ll never forget what happened next.
When I began to sing, his face changed. In an instant, he went from playing with his toys—his concentration face—to looking up at me, his face positively glowing. Not only had he recognised the song, but he had liked it! He had missed it.
Every now and then, I sing that song to him, just out of the blue.
He still smiles. Every single time.
As a matter of fact, I sang it to him today. And as soon as his face lit up with the joy of recognition, I knew that moment would be my smile for today. Ah, hell. Maybe it’s my smile for the year.
Such is the power of music.