Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We can't all be Loretta Lynn, but some of us share her raw talent and destiny of country fame

We all need shortcuts to feeling like Mother of the Year and these shortcuts are different for everyone. I am fond of throwing impromptus tea parties and reading picture books in bed. Both of these things allow me to do what I like – eat cookies and lie in bed – while doing things my kids like – eating cookies and having my undivided attention. In addition to pleasing both parties, I feel these activities are good for my children.

Another one is living room dance party. This one, in addition to pleasing us and being good for kids, is good for my ass. Win/ win/ win/ win.

But my favorite Mother of the Year shortcut is singing to the children at bedtime. Ever since the summer I watched Coal Miner’s Daughter a hundred times and saw Sissy Spacek playing Loretta Lynn belt out those country melodies to her darling l’il critters in the cornfield or wherever, I have enjoyed following in her footsteps. I have fancied myself a Loretta-Lynn-type. I know that my becoming a country star is a long shot that I wouldn’t say its out of the question entirely. And if (when) I do, my children will remember how I used to croon sweetly to them in bed, and will be sure to tell the screenwriter who are penning the story of my life, to include that bedtime scene, in which you see my natural talent and manifest destiny.

Listen, it’s not just me who thinks I’ve got raw talent. As I frequently remind my husband, naysayer that he is, two DIFFERENT strangers have asked me if I was a professional singer,

The first was a man selling fruits and vegetables on the street corner near my mother’s house.

The second was an elderly gentleman sitting behind me in church. Yes, I am one of those overly-loud church singers who enjoy attending mass because it affords them the opportunity to show off their vibrato.

Bedtime, however, is no place for belting. At bedtime, I croon soulfully, with yearning, yearning for my freaking children to finally go the hell to sleep and give me a break. Mostly, I sing the Beatles, occasionally, the Beach Boys. The kids ask for another song not so much because they like my singing but because they know it’s a pretty sire bet that I’ll say “yes” and hang around the room for another five minutes, literally to hear the sound of my voice.

And the beauty part is I get to think of myself as the kind of mom that sings to her kids at bedtime, which is to say a sweet, loving, tender, giving mother – who just might get a record deal one day. Who knows?