I love to sing. That’s not to say I’m great at it. I can carry a tune, and I’m game enough to massacre a song or two on karaoke, but my favorite way to use song has always been to get my kids’ attention. As they were growing up, whenever they were ignoring my directives or I just wanted to get a laugh, I would sing some popular song, but change the lyrics in a humorous way. I might take an Aladdin song and turn it into a plea to clean their rooms. Or a Queen song might morph into a request to stop arguing.
Whenever I’d start singing, they’d stop what they were doing and stare up at me with expectant faces, waiting to see if I’d nail the rhyme or blow it. Eager to see if I’d crack them up or just crack myself up.
The other day we were riding in the car, and I was singing along to a popular song on the radio called “All of Me” by John Legend. I mucked with the lyrics, and the joke worked: All of me, loves some of you. Not the part that’s kind of lazy. Not the part that drives me crazy. “Mom, stop!” my grown son pleaded, laughing. But I’ll never stop, and he knows it.
How did your family “play” with art and personal expression? Did your dad dance you around the living room when his favorite song came on? Did your mom hide silly doodles in your lunchbox? Could your grandpa recite the entire poem, Charge of the Light Brigade? How many of the inside jokes in your family relate to your relatives having fun with art?
I’ve long been intrigued by all the ways in which art affects us. Today, it’s just fun to think that some of those ways might be forming cherished family memories and weaving us all a little closer together. Aren’t we lucky?