A couple of weeks ago angels invaded my Acura. Or so I thought. It turns out my sweet little three year old was flooding the space with his sweet singing. For a while now he has been storytelling, rhyming, and improvising to music. Making up silly songs to narrate our various activities and routines has become part of the way we interact throughout the day. But this was unlike anything I’d heard from him before. He was singing along to a song from the Drum collection, “They Come Back!” Now if you know Drum then you already know that song is a tearjerker! It pulls on heartstrings related to the tenderness associated with leaving your precious little one in the care of another. But, of course, the song lyrics are from the child’s perspective and the song transmits the vulnerability that I imagine Hays experiences when I leave him at nursery school or with a sitter, and the courage that he must stretch to embody in order to trust that I am going to come back.

This song is a heart-piercer for sure and it was deeply significant for it to be the first song that Hays sang along to. It happened like magic. I was so mesmerized observing him in the rearview mirror that I’m surprised I didn’t wreck! He spontaneously sang a small section, realized what he had done, and then earnestly set about trying to sing along more and more. In a constant process of refinement, he continued singing the correct lyrics while matching them to the tone and rhythm of the music. Each time the song ended he would urgently insist, “Again!” I could tell he was working so hard to remember the words, coordinate his breathing, and find the song’s key. It was like watching his musical brain blossom!

I know I’m his mom but I swear there was more to it than just matching words to music. His singing was laced with an expressive quality as if his heart was unleashing through this new conduit of song. His painfully sweet voice seemed to be carrying poignant sentiment. I was very deeply moved.

Right away he began using his new capacity for singing along. To experience him in class just belting it out so uninhibitedly is absolutely joyful! It’s hard to believe that we have been attending Music Together® classes since before he could walk. And now he sings! There is a purity to his singing that connects me with innocence—not just his innocence but my own and that of each of us. When this small boy whom I am graced to call my son sings a song, I feel linked to the little one I once was—that part of myself beyond the woundings and challenges of my 37 years. Hays’s singing cuts directly through my inner walls and defenses as I tearfully behold a human heart expressing its inherent love through song.

This coming semester I am so excited to take the first ever multi-generational class offered by Tiny Voices Music Together. Hays is blessed to have close relationships with his grandparents but I am excited he will get to interact with elders who are not family. And I am curious about how these older adults will experience the children’s music making. I can’t help but hope that, similarly to what I’ve described, they might for a moment feel their burdens and weariness fall away revealing the innocence fundamental to each human life—the innocence carried so perfectly by the sweet song of a child.