Monday, June 29, 2009

Soundtracks

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.



July 1999

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.

August 2001

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.

June 2006

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.



February 2008


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?

10 comments:

  1. I'm going to have to think about this. I don't associate any songs with my kids, but I know there are some that put me in a certain place or time.

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  2. This is such a great post. It's true for me, too, the thing about songs and time warps. Remember "What I Like About You?" ~ that's the song that takes me back to my husband and me dating ~ at hockey games, every Saturday night of the season. And Enya's "Orinoco Flow" always reminds me of those trips back and forth to the NICU with our second child. And there are tons more. You've got me thinking now...

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  3. There were 2 songs I heard all the time while pregnant with Princess, My Immortal by Evanescence and Martina McBride's In My Daughter's Eyes.

    For this boy I've been listening mostly to Aerosmith on my iPod or a particular Disney CD that Princess loves. We'll have to see which songs really trigger those memories in a few months.

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  4. I don't think there are any songs that take me back to pregnancy. The only thing I remember was eating....lots and lots of everything! :)

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  5. I have one song that covers all major events in my life. This is sort of embarassing, but it is actually a hip-hop song. "B.O.B" by Outkast. On my wedding day, I got ready with the assistance of my soon to be sister-in-law and a mutual friend. We got in the car to head to the ceremony, and they decided I needed a hype song, to get me pumped up. When our friend started up the car, that song was playing, and we all danced enthusiastically all the way to the ceremony site.

    On the drive to the hospital to deliver Bella, before we got out of the car, we played that song. I had actually forgotten about it when I went to have Bubba, but the phone rang around 3AM, and I could hear it playing over the phone - my sister-in-law called me and played it for me. Before big work-related things, I listen to that song. If I'm feeling stressed out over a party I'm throwing, or because I'm having people over to dinner, I'll listen to that song. On the way to my grandma's funeral, I listened to that song. It's not the lyrics, it's not the beat (although it has a great beat), it's just that the song has become kind of a security blanket for me. It's on all my treadmill playlists. My guilty confession. :)

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  6. GeeGee1:26 PM

    On the way to Sally's recent birthday dinner, Pop, Fiver, and I heard Pure Prairie League's "Amy", and of course that was always your song, from the day your father shouted "There's my Aimee!" in the delivery room moments after your birth.
    Uncle BooHead and Juju always come to mind when we hear Phil Collins, and The Bird....well, sorry to say,we don't have a song which we associate with his arrival. However, whenever someone mentions Tianemen Square (spelling?)I always think of those days in the hospital with my 2 week old sick baby as I sat by his crib, holding his leg, since I could not pick him up. The room had 2 other children in it and a large overhead TV (always on for the other kids). There were innumerable flashes of the Square, the defiant student standing in front of the rolling tank........

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  7. I don't associate any songs with my daughters, but it seemed every single night on the way home from the NICU with Lil P, I would hear Big Pimpin' by Jay Z. I guess we were spending Big G's over at that hospital!

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  8. Anonymous4:26 PM

    great post aimee!

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  9. What a fun post! I don't necessarily associate songs with things, but smells definitely.

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  10. Anonymous4:19 PM

    "The Breaking of the Dawn" by Fernando Ortega reminds me of my Mom. Incidentally, when she passed I was also pregnant with Brandon , so it is also the song that reminds me the most of Brandon and my pregnancy with him. For Andrew, I always remember "I can only Imagine" by Mercy Me and most especially Celine Dion's lullaby, "Nature Boy". For my baby girls #2 and #3, I remember them when I hear "The Rose" by Bette Midler. Songs and Music are such a wonderful balm to our souls...great post! Diana L

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