Since moving to our new home, Grey and I have developed a weekend ritual of running the Beats. Sometime on Saturday and Sunday, we pile into the car and go to one of the many local parks with trails. During these hikes, the rule is one parent per child with He-Beat racing ahead as fast as his legs can carry him while She-Beat explores at her own pace; sometimes running, but often doing a meandering walk while looking around.
This last weekend, while out on one of our family runs, I realized that She-Beat was humming. Slowly picking her way down the trail, looking all around except for what lay ahead, she was blissfully in her own world. Listening carefully, I was able to recognize some familiar tunes, such as her singing the alphabet or "itsy-bitsy spider," but generally her humming consists of her own compositions.
Music has always been important to me, allowing me to convey emotion in ways that words often fail. As I child, I participated in local choirs as I could easily carry a tune. As I grew older, though, I became more reluctant to sing as I was terribly self-conscious. And with infertility, music became almost nonexistent. I remember Grey looking at me solemnly one evening while in the middle of treatments and confusing that he missed hearing me sing. During that period of deep mourning, my voice had been lost.
The arrival of the Beats forced me to find my voice again. Holding them in NICU, I followed Grey's lead of singing to them while we did Kangaroo care, sharing songs that brought us hope. Following bringing them home, the singing continued to soothe them back to sleep or during bath-time. But it wasn't until I started working at their daycare that I really learned the power music has over children, being a quick way to deescalate any situation and quickly get their attention. There were countless days that I sang myself hoarse, always learning quickly to disregard any feelings of self-consciousness.
Hearing She-Beat humming completely caught me off guard. Watching her dance her way along the trail as she hummed happily I realized I was witnessing something that my heart had longed for. It doesn't matter whether she has perfect pitch or is composing original scores. What matters is She-Beat is finding music within herself.
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