|The bathroom is alive with the sound of music at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I hear my five-year-old daughter’s voice coming from the bathroom attached to our master bedroom. The house is dark and she is standing in front of a mirror singing “My Favorite Things” as if she were Julie Andrews herself. I assume she has chosen this spot for the acoustics. She seems oblivious to the fact that the rest of us are still sleeping.
My husband and I pretend like this performance has not woken us. I don’t think she intends to be an alarm clock. When she wants me to wake up, there is usually a little finger poking my face and an incessant “mommy, mommy, mommy.” This singing is a sweet way to start our day, albeit earlier than we had intended. As she sings I mentally add “coffee” and “doughnuts” to “girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.”
My daughter’s love for singing began as soon as she could speak and it was common for her to sing her way through the day, but this is a new development. The cause was a particularly magical family moment during the holidays when my sister-in-law (the actress) informed us that The Sound of Music sing-along was on TV. There were eight people staying at my parent’s house, it was dark and cold outside and we were all in various stages of viral infection. It sounded like the perfect way to spend the evening. My daughter had been hopping from lap to lap, enjoying attention from her far-away family. When the first song came on and my sister-in-law began to sing, my daughter stopped hopping and found her happy place. Aunt Brooke can sing. Really sing. My daughter had never heard a person sing that well before and no one on earth sings as well as Julie Andrews (sorry Beyoncé).
We watched Fraulein Maria explain the basics of signing to the von Trapp children and my daughter was taking notes and singing along. She listened as her own family around her sang the familiar songs. Even my father sang (although he would blame the narcotics from his knee surgery a few days prior). She fell asleep before the parts of the movie that would require a history lesson and some complicated explanations. She has been carrying the magic of that night around with her ever since. It is contagious. Listening to her sing, even at 6 a.m. on a Sunday, is absolutely one of my favorite things.
Meghen Kurtzig writes fiction except when her daughter gives her such great material. She is also the finance chair for Write on Mamas, contributor to Mamas Write and on the production team for Listen to Your Mother SF.