The Best Mothers Day Gift

My daughter’s absolute favorite song is Bridge Over Troubled Water sung by Johnny Cash.  I wonder if she remembers it from her embryonic days, but will never mention this to her, as I’m sure she will once again proclaim my weirdness and stop talking.  She actually loves several versions of this song, and yesterday we sang them all in the car on the way to Mimi’s and Nana’s and back home again.

I realize that I am by no means a gifted singer.  I am a shower singer, a driving in the car by myself singer, a person with music, good and bad, sifting around in my head all day singer.  The right phrase spoken out loud by stranger can trigger a song in my head and sometimes out of my mouth.  Such words Spoken by a friend can lead to both awkward or funny blurts of melody and lyrics, based on my timing.  Timing is everything.

Newport BridgeWhen I was pregnant with Julia, I not only sang to myself, but I sang to her.  I felt like I could communicate to her through my car and shower singing rituals.  But just in case I couldn’t reach her, I spent many relaxing hours with a pair of headphones on my belly so that she might get exposed to some people who could actually sing – George Jones, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to name a few.  Mellow, sweet and sad songs that could calm her while opening and forming her little unborn mind.  Songs about love and loss, which sounds depressing, but it was the tonal quality of the voices and the music that I was after, to soothe her, and myself.

Once Julia was born, the music really began.  I sang to her in the car before she could consciously object.  I danced her around the house to George Harrison All Things Must Pass and other Beatles songs every evening before bed.  Reading stories included music and singing songs, always.  From infancy to at least 2 years old or so, she stopped crying almost instantly whenever I sang Michelle to her.

The first song she ever sang was the Winnie the Pooh theme song.  We’d drive to daycare and kindergarten singing Elmo and other Sesame Street character hits; I grew to enjoy Elmo’s screeching little high-pitched laughter (I no longer can tolerate him, thankfully).  As she went through elementary school, we’d still sing in the car in the mornings, to everything from Julie Andrews to Hannah Montana to Weird Al Yankovich, based on whatever stage she happened to be going through.  The songs she learned in school were also belted out on the way to the grocery store, bank, or whatever other errands we ran together.  Singing with her, though not a conscious activity (as in NOW WE SHALL SING), was our way of connecting.  I never thought that would change.

If you’ve read some of my past blog posts, you will learn that eventually, around 5th or 6th grade, in Julia’s mind, our music became “your music” and “my music.” ( Read https://pattytmitchell.com/2012/11/16/my-daughters-music/   or  https://pattytmitchell.com/2013/10/13/changing-times/)  Me singing Julia’s music became … unappreciated.  In fact, it was very much frowned upon.  My heart shattered, my ultra sensitive feelings crumbled.  How could she shut me out?  How can I believe that she still loves me?  So many parts of our relationship began to change.  She became a DT – Disagreeable Tweener.

I’ve now learned to appreciate the moments when we are both together and somewhat aligned, and that’s certainly helped me accept her becoming the individual that she is.  They are small and sometimes short-lived moments, but relished and sealed in my heart forever.  And becoming more frequent these days, thankfully.

So yesterday was Mothers Day and included car rides to visit my mom and my mother-in-law.  Julia normally changes the radio to one of “her” stations as soon as the ignition turns over, or plugs in her phone and her music before I even get a chance to object.  But not today.  Today Paul McCartney belted out Till There Was You without interruption or eye-rolling.  No looking out the car window with disgust, just a patient tolerance.  And then after came our medley of Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Some gifts are priceless.

Take a listen to Julia’s favorite renditions, in order of preference

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=johnny+cash+bridge+over+troubled+water&qpvt=johnny+cash+bridge+over+troubled+water&FORM=VDRE&adlt=strict

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mary+j+blige+and+andrea+bocelli+duet&FORM=VIRE12&adlt=strict#view=detail&mid=C437FE647A7F820895C1C437FE647A7F820895C1

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/flashback-elvis-presley-sings-bridge-over-troubled-water-in-1972-20140501

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=simon+and+garfunkel+sing+bridge+over+troubled+water&FORM=VIRE1&adlt=strict#view=detail&mid=005F9B10BE36E013ABA1005F9B10BE36E013ABA1

 

Happy Fall Y’all!

expo A corny greeting for sure, but tis the season for corn of all kinds.

I know I’ve been quiet lately, but am working away at a whole new version of my new book. Formally known as Don’t Call Me Poundcake, my new working title- Carry That Weight. It has taken me much time and reflection, and lots of slow running around the Smithfield High School track, but I believe I found the key to what was stalling me out after page 40.

CTW is the story of a girl who has a lot placed upon her shoulders – and learns how to cope, to love herself and realize the strength she possesses as she conquers her demons and makes positive contributions to the world around her. And it’s co-starring (sort of) The Beatles. That’s all I’m going to say, except that I’ve taken the theme that is most important to me, standing up for yourself and taking responsibility for your life, and paired it with other elements I love like, music, food, running, and the strong bonds between friends, mothers and daughters. I can’t wait to share some sneak peeks with you all in the coming weeks.

I am fortunate enough to have some dear lifelong friends that have helped me think this through without even knowing it. That includes my family of course, my sisters, my in-laws, my parents, my husband and my adorable bouncing baby girl that’s now at least 3 inches taller than me (Her new nickname for me is Midge- VERY non PC). And my friends, after all of these years, who are still so special and dear, and have experienced so many of the same things we all do as we learn to find our own unique voice. We’ve held each other up over the years and I hope this book is a proper culmination of my love and respect.

The biggest discovery for me is that I’m most comfortable and content when I write about the things I love; perhaps I’m not good enough yet to weave these important concepts into something unrecognizable.  As they say, time will tell.

 

And if that all isn’t enough- I’m on the road this fall! My version of on the road, which is appearing around the area promoting my first book,  A Girl From the Hill.

First, On Sunday October 5th there’s the Southern New England Women’s Expo 

Then Sunday October 12th and Monday October 13th I will be at the Scituate Art Festival
And on Saturday November 8th I will be participating in the Second Annual Association of Rhode Island Authors Expo, with over 70 local authors making their work available. Why, you can get most of your holiday shopping done just by stopping by!

 

You can follow the links to the event sites for more information. I hope to see you locals at one or more of these events, to buy a book or just stop over and say hello. And as I move more fully into Carry That Weight, I’ll provide updates when I can and throw ideas out there for you to think about and provide your feedback.

Have a great weekend and remember that All You Need is Love.

All Things Must Pass

bostonFor those of you keeping track, yes it’s still officially Sunday as I write this.  I’m really good at this procrastination stuff, in case you can’t tell.

As I sit here and watch the Red Sox try to win Game 2, I recall when the Sox won it all in 2004.  Such an amazing time to be a fan, especially a fan that still had ‘the faith.’  Before it cost money to be a fan (ala Red Sox Nation) and before it cost several hundred dollars for a few folks to go to the game together and go grab a bite before or after.  But I digress.

There are two moments I remember clearly during the playoffs and series in 2004.  The first is just jumping off my chair when the Sox took the series from the Cardinals and hugging my husband.  We were truly blissful that ‘The Curse’ had finally been broken, and we were fans on the winning side.  We got to know those guys almost intimately – Damon, Veriteck, Millar, and of course my main men Pedro, Manny and Big Papi.  That feeling of joy still makes me grin.

The other moment is actually a series of moments, of running home from work with Julia, who was almost four years old at the time, getting her positioned in front of the TV on her own little upholstered chair with the horses on it that Mimi and Papa got her, with a little tray to eat her supper off of, making dinner and watching the game and the child at the same time, each playoff game.  Something to look forward to each night, and Julia went right along with the scurrying around, then the settling down to watch the game with her Mama.  She would cheer for Big Papi and Pedro, mimicking me, taking her queue from her mom, her role model. She loved the game and she loved watching with me, with both of us.  Jeremy worked nights in those days and sometimes Julia would just be going to bed when he got home to his tired, bleary eyed but happy girl.  She was thrilled to see Daddy, but we gals took care of ourselves at night, and she was normally in bed and asleep by the time he got home.

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joy to the world…please

George Harrison with Ravi Shankar, 1967

George Harrison with Ravi Shankar, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Levels of joy and sadness are spiking up and down with such high intensity these past few days. The joy of the holidays has been pierced with the sadness of Newtown. The joy in celebrating life and heroic deeds – the best that humans have to offer, in sharp contrast to the worst we can imagine.

Thanks to akreed for her blog post on the passing of Indian musician Ravi Shankar this past week.

I am a huge Beatles and George Harrison fan, so Ravi means something special to me in terms of the joy and grounding he provided George, not to mention his influence on his (and their) music.

here is the post — via joy.

I sincerely and urgently hope that joy travels your way through these next difficult days, as we try our best to celebrate and mourn simultaneously.