Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Song That was a Hit Before Your Mother was Born

If you can name the song lyrics used for the title of this blog post without the help of Google, you will earn major respect points from me!

Matthew recently discovered the Beatles and their music while perusing our little library in the office. Back in high school, the Beatles were my music obsession. I knew every lyric from every song they ever recorded as well as every published detail from their lives and careers. During this time, it was not uncommon for me to receive Beatles paraphernalia as gifts from friends and family members. As a result, I have quite the collection of biographies, discographies, coffee table books, and even children's books about the Beatles. Matthew started out reading a biography of the Beatles written specifically for children. Next, he shuffled through my extensive vinyl collection and pulled out all the Beatles records and listened to them intently. Then, he began reading through my more extensive biographies. Soon enough, I had a Beatles historian in the making walking around the house, spouting off various facts like, "John Lennon had a skiffle band when he was a teenager and then he met Paul McCartney when he was 15. Paul was a better guitar player and John didn't like that he was a better musician than him but he wanted to make the band better, so he let him join."

Matthew has declared his favorite Beatle to be Paul because he tends to like more of Paul's songs. His least favorite Beatle is George because "he looks scary in a lot of their pictures." His favorite Beatles song by far is "Ticket to Ride" and he has questioned the legitimacy of the Grammy Awards when he discovered that they did not award the Beatles Best Song of the Year for that single. When I showed him that the Beatles DID win the 1967 Song of the Year Grammy for "Michelle" and played that song for him, he balked: "Ticket to Ride is WAY better than THAT song. They're not even singing in English!" 

Maybe he will appreciate the artistic beauty of that song one day. It's one of my favorites. But then again, I could probably count over 100 of the Beatles' songs as my "favorites".

Emma and Lucy have also become quite enraptured with the Beatles' music because Matthew has been playing so much of it around the house. Emma and Lucy both love the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" just because they love to pretend that the song is about our Lucy. They request that I play it often while I'm preparing dinner so they can sing and dance.

I actually didn't realize how deep the Beatles influence was with my children until the other day when Lucy kept reminding everyone that love is the only thing necessary for life. She actually really annoyed her siblings at several points because any time anyone would request anything, she would respond with "All we need is love!"

Emma: "Mom, can I have a glass of water!"
Lucy: "We don't need water...all we need is LOVE!"

Matthew: "Mom, I'm hungry. When are we having lunch?"
Lucy: "But Matthew, we don't even need food! We just need LOVE!"

Me: "Lucy, it's time to get dressed for the day!"
Lucy: "We don't need clothes - Just Love!"

Finally, I just had to ask her where the heck she got all this love nonsense from. Not that I'm disagreeing with it, but she was so insistent. Her reply: "Oh! Mom! It's from that song! Remember?"

She then proceeded to sing, with a little dance and dramatic, widespread hand movements: "All you need is Love! Duh duh duh duh duh! All you need is Love! Love! Love is all you need!"

The Beatles influence runs deep in this family. I'm actually getting a lot of joy out of seeing my children discover and enjoy their music as much as I did as a child.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Love Notes

The school year has finally come to a close and my children are thrilled to begin their summer vacation! Little do they know that they will not be allowed to forget all the lessons they have learned throughout the school year during these lazy summer months, for I am determined to schedule in "schoolwork time" each and every day during the week. I am especially excited to tutor Emma throughout the summer as she continues to develop her reading and writing skills. She ended the school year on a very high note, earning top honors and marks on her report card. Her teacher wrote a lovely assessment of her work throughout the year, praising her for her literacy and budding interest in writing.

Emma is turning into a mini-Harriet the Spy with her writing. For the past few months, she can be seen carrying a notebook and a pencil or pen around with her. While the other kids are off playing various games, Emma is quietly off to the side in a little corner scribbling a note out furiously. Her notations are often just things she is observing or thoughts that she holds in her mind and heart. She is very private about her writings and does not like to show me her notes, but every once in a while she will leave her notebook out and I can't help but take a peek. Her spelling is very phonetic; the words are often misspelled but if you read it aloud you can see that she has reproduced the spoken sound of the word. I recently shared a note of hers on Instagram that I found next to her cereal bowl one morning. It read:

"I love you Dad.
Hapee Fathrs Daye.
you love evreeone in yoor famlee.
I love you sow much Dad.
you hav love me yoor...."

She trails off at the end of her note, but I imagine she was going to write "you have loved me your whole life" because this is something she says frequently to Paul and me. I think these notes are so dear, so sweet, that I couldn't help but share one of them on social media. Of course my sweetheart of a sister Amy just had to comment: "I take it spelling isn't her strongest subject?" For Pete's sake, she just turned SIX!

I found another note this morning outside next to the water table where she had been playing with Daniel. I believe she took a break from playing with him to scribble down the following message (my translation of certain words is in parenthesis):

"God made you. God made me. God made evreeetheen (everything).
God made chrees (trees). God made wrms (worms).
God made evreetheen (everything).
Jesus I trust in you.
I love the nachr (nature).
I love God. 
I love you."

In addition to her constant journaling, Emma loves to sketch quick little drawings and give them as "presents" for her friends and family. Of course, not everyone is completely appreciative of her art. This afternoon, Emma scribbled off a quick sketch and handed it to Matthew: "Look! I made this for you! It's a picture of me and you!"

Instead of a "thank you" or a "how nice", Matthew's reaction was one of indignation, "EMMA! Why did you draw me SO FAT???" 

Not sure if it was intentional or not, but the Matthew of her sketch does look a wee bit short and pudgy. 

These children of mine are growing up way too fast. The phrase "the days are long but the years are short" truly applies to my experience raising these crazy kids. 

Here's to a wonderful summer learning, laughing, and loving together!