I’ve always loved to sing.
As a very young child I remember performing “On the Road Again” alongside some kids my sister babysat for their dad. I knew all the words to “You Know Me Better Than That” by George Strait. I thought it was funny that he didn’t really like his girlfriend’s cat.
As a young teenager I pranced around singing Britney Spears and Prince. I’d belt out the National Anthem. My friends and I “started a Christian group.” We called ourselves XS and practiced two or three times. In my senior yearbook, the juniors mockingly predicted that I would take my country music act on the road with Dolly Parton.
In college I drank an energy drink so I could study for an Art History test but instead stayed up until 3 a.m. writing a song. When I woke my best friend up so she could listen to it, she said, “That’s good Dan,” and went right back to sleep.
As an adult I took up singing “Ave Maria” and “Santa Lucia.” Just those words, I don’t know any other parts of the songs.
Here’s the thing. I cannot sing. Not even a note. I’m terrible. It drives every single member of my family crazy, and I am often compared to Barney Fife.
Whenever I randomly bust into song, Michael says it sounds like I’m killing a cat. Of course I think he should find my impromptu performances endearing, but I just don’t think he does.
You know what I had to do to find someone who would truly appreciate my zeal for singing? Have a kid.
Yes. The boy adores my singing. When he was a tiny baby the only thing that would calm his crying while we were driving in the dark was the soothing sound of my not so melodious voice. My rendition of “Hush Little Baby” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” put him right to sleep.
When I bust out into a song at home and Michael holds his hears and tells me to be quiet, Emory so innocently asks him, “You don’t want Mama to sing? You don’t like it?” He is totally dumbfounded as to his father does not enjoy my singing.
Every day I put on a show. I rock him and go through my whole set … “Froggy Went a Courtin”, “You Are My Sunshine”, “Tom Dooley” and I’ve recently added “Old Dan Tucker”.
I finally found my audience. And he makes me feel like I’m every bit as good as Elvis Presley himself.