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

 

Interview with Mike Squatrino from Association of Rhode Island Authors

Read Mike’s blog to see his interview with me to promote the ARIA Book Expo on November 8th – that’s next Saturday! He has been doing a fantastic job promoting the event and the authors. Check out his Overlordsfantasy series too!</http://theoverlords.blogspot.com

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.