A phrase commonly heard whenever kids and adults are in a car together, Evan spoke these words to me as we drove to church the other night. Then he asked if I would stop conducting; someone might see me. Am I not allowed to have ANY musical fun in my own car? I told him I did not care what other people thought, and told him I wasn’t conducting anyway. I was playing percussion. Or some other instrument.
This concern over “conducting” began with Laurena when she reported “Riley and McKenna were at a stop sign and they saw you waving your arms around! It was so embarrassing!” “Oh no,” says I.” “Think of it as just adding to the mystique that is NONNY.” McKenna and Riley like me I know it. The parents might think me odd, but then again I bet they have their own silly things they do too.
Years ago, when the kids were 1, 3 and 5, I remember looking in the rearview mirror as we drove along listening to the last song on Michael W Smith’s Christmas CD and there they all were, waving their little arms, strapped into their little car seats, CONDUCTING just as their Nonny was. It’s the type of song one can’t help but CONDUCT. Give it a listen and I’m sure you will instantly start conducting yourself.
On this particular CD we have our favorite songs and we proceed through the CD in order. Ah it’s just heavenly, and sharing it as I have through the years with my 3 little wonders makes it all the more so. When I drove Laurena to Preschool lo these many (6) years ago we listened to an Amy Grant Christmas CD that included “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” after which Laurena asked “Nonny, who is Joyful?” Lovely moments for a Nonny. I think she was too short at the time to notice any arm waving I might have been doing.
Then there’s Caedmon’s Call and their CD….um…let me go look…hang on….oh yes it’s called Chronicles. And again there are favorites that we methodically go through. It’s been THE favorite for years. The kids have given names other than the ones given by the writers to some, for example, there’s the one they call “The Piano Song” while another is “The Girly Song.” Over time I have gotten them interested in more songs than the three we started with so it’s more interesting FOR ME, nevertheless, I can’t complain when they are all three singing “All my life, you can have all of my life….” to Jesus Christ, at the very top of their lungs, and saying “Again!” when it finishes. Not to mention that I get to explain the stories behind lines like “I saw Peter putting away his sword. He won’t fight no more.” They were spellbound as I told them about the night in the Garden of Gethsemanae, Peter cutting off the soldier’s ear, and the healing touch applied lovingly by Jesus right after. Opportunities, opportunities…..always opportunities to pull the kids into knowledge of the Lord.
Also opportunities, opportunities to conduct, play instruments in the air, and sing as we listen to my favorite music in the car. Just maybe with a little less enthusiasm when they’re with me!