When I was expecting my daughter I read an article suggesting that pregnant mothers sing to their babies. That way the baby would hear and recognize comforting sounds after she was born. I loved the idea and found about 12 songs I thought would be perfect. The Yellow Rose of Texas was on the list, but I also pulled out sheet music and shopped for more so that I could play the piano for her as well. I sang for her any time I was alone for most of the pregnancy. The advice turned out to be very helpful as she had colic and need the comfort of music and moving.
I sang her our baby songs but soon needed more. We started singing every song I'd ever known and some we made up. Before she could walk, we started playing piano together. Once she was able to get up to the piano on her own, she started to work out little bits of scales and simple melodies like "Twinkle, Twinkle..." This picture isn't very good, but I had the chance to take it one day while she was busy playing and didn't know I had the camera. In it she's two years old.
I didn't know she was unusual until she started kindergarten. Her teacher asked about her "music studies" in our first parent/teacher conference. Bill and I didn't know what the woman was talking about. She kept insisting Morgan was receiving music/piano lessons and we both said no. Finally, I described the kinds of fun things we did at home thinking there must be lots of kids who did the same things. Her teacher had a certification in music and felt Morgan was very gifted. I was so proud of her, but still thought her interests weren't all that unusual until our son was born and I got to know a child with other interests and passions.
We talk about our Scottish heritage often in our family. These people were highlanders. All hard working, serious, courageous, and pious, the Scots define us. But the other Celts, our Irish ancestors, have given us magic. This is my father's family, full of music, stories, art, dance. Full of what they'd call Blarney. They are all musicians in one form or another. (My dad had a rock and roll band during the 50-60's) They all play piano and sing. Many of them play several instruments and can't get together without eventually dropping everything to make music. These people share the stories of fairy rings and superstitions, stories of dancing girls with red hair and green eyes. These other Celts that gave us music are part of what makes Morgan so very wonderful.
Here's a picture from Tuesday night. We went to Dallas to see the Police reunion concert. The highlight of the night for me was Morgan's company. She sang and danced, laughed and cheered, clapped and stomped her way through the concert as if she were made to be wrapped in music. She made insightful comments on the performance, noted things she thought could be improved, and made friends with the row of librarians sitting behind us exchanging e-mails with one when it became clear they had many common interests. We are beginning to know the woman our daughter will become and are delighted by her. She is kind and generous, funny and smart, and magical. We're going back tonight for the Houston concert. She says she thinks this one will be even better because we will be at home. I'll write more after the concert.
(PS The black hair in this picture is from a bottle. She decided to dress up for the concert and wanted to change her hair too. She looks great, but I walked right by her in the crowd without recognizing her on Tuesday night!)