I am excited to welcome my friend, writer and fellow mom, Jessica, to Bump Life today. I love her amazing essay about her daughter, written from the prospective of the tune she often sings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I and it lets you think about your own children and all the many moments in their lives.
Guest Post by Jessica Edelen
I am a tune.
Sometimes joyful, sometimes sad; most of the time silly and shrill and in between quiet and loud. I am often heard when she thinks no one is hearing, when she loses herself in a world of castles and oceans and noble queens. In this world, there are as many princesses as there are talking giraffes and chihuahuas that can fly. These characters live in a barn whose walls are a shoebox, or a house made of blocks. And I live there, too.
I am echoed in the spaces in between — in between her brothers’ Lego creations or the cacophonous television or the stovetop where her mom is busy. Everyone is busy, busy. But I find the space and fill it with peace and joy.
I am constantly changing. When she was a baby, I was all babble and gurgle. And then I was a toddler’s noisy song without words. As she grew, I became the lopsided, squeaky notes of several songs sung all at once. I am the preschool chorus of “Dinah Won’t You Blow” enhanced by “Over the Rainbow,” and maybe even “Teenage Dream.”
Her mom and dad mostly revel in my notes being sent aloft as they help with homework, search online archives, or feed the fish. I see smiles on their faces, and I also see lines of worry and age.
She doesn’t see the tears, but I do. There are tears when the baby falls and tears when her brother doesn’t make the team. But the tears that count are in the quiet places, after the second round of radiation, the third round of the same argument, or the first time they realize this life is their one and only, and it’s fleeting.
She is changing and growing, and I fear I may be not long for this world, her world. Soon she will catch herself and realize she has an audience. Soon best friends and sleepovers will take my place. I will be given over to the consciousness of every young woman, one that flirts with shame, and is fearful of being her authentic self.
My greatest hope is that she calls on me in solitary, happy times. Or when she is lost in thought or study. Or best of all, when she is in a car, newly-found freedom her only companion, on a breezy, blue day. Then I’ll again make my presence known, and she’ll greet me with carefree abandon, like an old friend she never quite forgot.