Mr. Man has always loved music. Some of my favorite memories, and home videos, are of our late night dance parties. Sleep was never “normal” in our house. It never failed, as soon as mom and dad were ready to collapse into bed, Mr. Man would be up and ready to party. We started playing music and he would dance around the living room. We hoped this would burn his energy, so we could go to bed. There was nothing funnier than a mop of blonde curls be-bopping around the room. He could barely walk, but he had moves!
I will never forget taking him to see the movie Frozen in theaters. He wasn’t feeling particularly well and spent most of the movie with his head on my chest. But during the songs, he would perk up and bounce along. Of course, after that the soundtrack became part of our daily routine. I remember the rage that became Elsa. I remember watching Facebook videos of my friends’ children belting out Let It Go. I would watch Mr. Man dance along, silently.
It hurt….a lot. Why? Why couldn’t he sing, like the others? After all, children far younger than him could at least say “Go” at the end of each line. It took a long time, and Mama is far from patient. But Mr. Man started to sing.
Children with Apraxia have a difficult time planning speech. So a conversation can be difficult for them. They have to form the words in their head and then muscles have to make the speech occur. It is far easier for them to say things that don’t require a lot of forethought, things that come automatically, like singing. When you sing along to your favorite song you don’t have to think about what comes next, you know. It’s automatic. I have noticed Mr. Man can follow songs in a way he could not otherwise do while trying to maintain a conversation. He feels successful, and Mama sure loves to hear his voice.
Now, at 4, Mr. Man still loves music and asks for “songs” the second we get in the car. His favorites include Frozen (of course), Veggietales, Lego “Awesome”, and selections from Home, Zootopia and Despicable Me. But nothing….nothing….makes this Mama’s heart melt more than hearing him belt out Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love. So, if you pull up to me at a stoplight and see a huge smile on my face, it’s probably because Mr. Man and I are dancing in the car.
We choose to celebrate every success. Every.Day. So, sing baby, sing!