Hopping around the internet last night, I found a post of Gretchen's, over at Lifenut, that struck a very familiar chord.
She writes about the summer she was heavily pregnant with her first child, and the ubiquitous pop song that she always associates with her daughter's birth.
I smiled when I read through her post, because I have the same kinds of song memories for each of my children, and as soon as I hear that song, their song, I am transported right back to those heady days.
I don't know what made me notice which songs were popular during the waning days of each pregnancy, especially since I cannot tell you any current popular songs, but it's what happened.
For Francie, the song was "Livin' La Vida Loca." Ricky Martin was EVERYWHERE during the summer of 1999. Every store, every gas station, every car radio was livin' la vida loca.
It was July, I was overdue, I would haul my huge self out of the pool after swimming laps, and BAM! -- there was Ricky Martin.
As I lumbered past the senior citizen aqua aerobics class, with perfectly coiffed ladies hanging onto foam noodles -- "You're definitely having a boy! Don't listen to her, honey, that's a girl belly if I ever saw one. And I had four girls, so I should know!" -- Ricky Martin was there to get these ladies moving.
I'll tell you what, Ricky was not kidding when he sang "she will wear you out, livin' la vida loca." We didn't even know what it meant to be worn out until Francie came along.
Fiver's song was more like an entire album. He was born when the Dixie Chicks' album "Home" was a top-seller, and I must have listened to it a million times in the car.
I had been dreading what I thought would be a terrible transition to having more than one child. People told us to expect awful behavior from Francie since she would practically be torn asunder with jealousy.
We were also told that the easy-breezy days of one child parents were OVER, and there was no way we could be prepared for the apocalyptic chaos that would consume us.
Imagine our surprise when Fiver came home and it was peaceful.
Oh, I was tired and I was busy, but bringing Fiver home was ten thousand times easier than bringing our first baby home. In fact, we haven't ever had an easier parenting re-entry period than with Fiver.
Since Francie was in pre-school, I did a lot of driving back and forth to get her, and Fiver would silently, peacefully accompany me. As the Chicks remake of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" played, I would look in the rear view mirror and think about how happy we were to have Fiver.
Sally was my only baby born on her due date. She's been our efficiency expert from Day One.
Sally, like her big brother, was a very peaceful, mild baby. Unlike my wild-eyed, fretful bookends, the two in the middle were rarely fussy or demanding.
Sally used to wake up and eat every morning around four. Sometimes I would sit in those quiet, pre-dawn moments, feeding her and flipping through the channels on the tiny television set that used to be in our bedroom.
Know what's on at four in the morning? Nothing much. There's weather, there's infomercials, there's occasionally an old movie, and there's music videos.
I would leave the volume down very low as I drifted in and out of sleep, and I remember that MTV would play "Ain't No Other Man," by Christina Aguilera at roughly the same time each morning.
I was never fully awake enough to see the video, but I could never mistake the retro sound of the brass-laden opening bars. I would lie there with my eyes closed, thinking that even though I was bone tired, I loved that time with Sally.
I rarely hear that song now, but those opening bars can take me back to those quiet, sleepy mornings in a heartbeat.
And then there was Bun. Oh, Bun of the Unexpected NICU Stay.
The older Bun gets, the more I am convinced that he is bound and determined to do things his own way. He is his own man, and so be it, but even though he was born at the opposite end of the calendar, he's got his song too.
Our van, the one that I think of as my car, only gets one and a half radio stations. One comes in very clearly, one comes in semi-clearly, about fifty percent of the time, and all the others are virtually non-existent.
It's been this way for years, and I usually don't mind since the kids act like I am their own personal deejay. I am constantly flipping around through CDs.
But on all those drives back and forth to the hospital, in the depressing bleakness of February, I was in too much of a fog to play around with CDs. I was too busy trying to NOT CRY so that I wouldn't drive off the road.
I was thinking about Bun, when the song "When Will I See You Again," by Miley Cyrus, came on the half clear radio station. I had never heard it, and I didn't know who was singing, since Francie was not into Hannah Montana.
I just remember thinking it was ironic that a song called "When Will I See You Again," was rocketing up the charts while I was leaving my baby at the hospital, trying to figure out the best time to get back and see him again.
So there they are: the random songs that have gotten mentally associated with the births of my children. It's been years since I've heard some of them (hello, does anyone play Ricky Martin on the radio anymore?), but they are an instant time-warp for me.
How about you, my friends? Are there any songs that take you right back to a particular time and place?