My three-year-old son Dylan has recently taken quite a liking to the Alicia Keys’ song “Girl On Fire” and as such it is not uncommon for us to be in a store and hear him suddenly belt out at the top of his lungs: “This girl is on FIRE!!!!”
Another of my favorites in his current line-up is a throwback to my era—“Gonna Make You Sweat,” more commonly known as “Everybody Dance Now!” The best part of this is that he will loudly start with “Everybody Dance Now!” and then go into the “da, da, da-da, da, da, dah-dah…” of the music that immediately follows it. Anyone within hearing range that came of age with that song can’t resist a smile and, yes, a move of their hips.
Now, he’s also three, which means that beyond simply enjoying these songs, he can’t help but put his own spin on them; thus, the other night “This Girl Is On Fire!” became “This Dummy Girl Is On Fire!” Which, call me a bad parent or whatever, is impossible not to crack up over. There is no way my, “No thank you, Dylan!” was in any way effective within my bursts of laughter.
Dylan has further figured out how to use some of his favorite song lyrics to his advantage—another one in his line-up, “Good Time” by Owl City, has the line “doesn’t matter when—it’s always a good time then.” We were in the car once, singing to that song, and then a few minutes later his sister got mad at him about something he had done and his response was, “It’s always a good time, Marlowe.”
And if all that’s not enough, he also has been channeling some kind of inner rock star—he’ll grab a “microphone” (any object remotely resembling a microphone), jump up onto the nearest table, chair, or otherwise elevated landing, and give us a “Ah- One, Ah-Two, One, Two, Three, Four—Yeah Baby!” before chucking the microphone into the crowd.
There is no doubt. He’s got the music in him.
I have many favorite things about him, but this is way, way up there on my list. I think partly because it is really cool to see him embrace a love for something so fully and creatively, but partly too because it stems from such a place of joy. When the music is flowing in him, he is truly joy-full, and it radiates out to anyone in his path. When you make a 40-something year old man in the grocery line start to dance, you know you’re on to something.
Dylan’s ability to tap into his musical side allows him a freedom of expression that just feels right to him. I think we all have that in us somewhere. Maybe it’s not through music—maybe it’s art, or movement, or talking, or leading a staff meeting, or cooking… whatever it is, there is a place within all of us where the “music” flows. I truly believe that. And when we tap that place, and just let it flow, everyone around us is better for it (and so are we).
So, do you have the music in you?