Chronicles of Sadie

God’s Silly Song

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I sing. All the time. With our without reason. With or without instrumentation. Music is the constant backdrop of my life. It’s like there’s a score being played in the background of my daily details. When I do something right, the orchestra swells into a positive exposition of flowing major movements and beautifully-structured arpeggios. When I lose my temper on I-40 and start honking my horn like a completely mad lunatic, the minor chords begin their staccato stabs in sequence with my fists pounding on the steering wheel. Later on when I am “clothed and in my right mind,” the Forrest Gump-esque violins illuminate the backdrop of my repentance.

Okay, so perhaps I exaggerate just bit—I know you’re shocked. But it is true that I live with a constant tune in my head and usually on my lips. I sing in the kitchen. The shower. The car. The office. Laura knows this little habit well.

Furthermore, I often—maybe more often than not—compose my own music as I go. Sometimes I sing because I am working on writing an actual song, repeating certain phrases over and over again to make minute adjustments to melody and lyric. However, the song I sing often has little to no value outside of the moment I’m in—just lyrics and melodies expressed in the present for the sake of the present.

Enter my little Sadie Bell. The moment we discovered she was coming, a new opus began pouring forth from the orchestral “pit” of my being. And since my little random compositions usually center around the experience at present, you can bet that my songs about my baby began to take on “baby-like” qualities.

I discovered long ago that I am a lot like Tom Hanks in Castaway. I ascribe my own alternate personalities to inanimate or non-verbal entities. Brutus, my dog, has been my “Wilson” on many occasions. And though I am a bit embarrassed to admit it to the masses (or lack thereof, as may be the case,) Brutus and I speak together all the time. He has his own dialect—his own mispronunciation of certain words which are quite amusing to Laura and I. He has his own little personality that, in reality, is somewhere between his actual personality and the inner monologue I have created for him. Please don’t judge me.

From the get-go, I began a similar process with Sadie. I suppose it came from the curiosity over what that little brain of hers might be thinking. In the absence of actual concrete knowledge of her sentiments, I create her sentiments the best I can based off of her expressions, her reactions, and sometimes her outbursts.

All of that is an overly verbose way of saying I “baby-talk” Sadie. As she has grown, I do a lot less of it since we are teaching her real words now. I suppose that eventually I will have to go back to just talking to Brutus—again, don’t judge me.

But the baby talk isn’t where I stop; I baby-sing as well! Silly songs sung to Sadie in each and every detail of our extraordinary time together. Laura does it too. One of my favorite “Sadie songs” is “Let’s Get A Clean Diaper” by Laura Driver—I hear that she’s releasing it on iTunes pretty soon.

I’m also a sucker for the classic Sadie song that we’ve been singing since week one: “Rubber Ducky.” Now, this should not be confused with Kermit the Frog’s rendition—same title, but completely different song.

And I will always cherish the “I Am A ‘S'” song written to the tune of “I Am A C . . . I am a C.H . . . I am a C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N” song that we all learned in Vacation Bible School as kids. My version, which I’m quite proud of, takes some practice to perfect. It goes (and you can put it to music as you read): “I am a S . . . I am a S.A . . . I am a S.A.D.I.E.J.A.N.E. And I like B.O.T.T.L.E in my B.E.L.L.Y and I will S.L.E.E.P.A.L.L.N.I.G.H.T.” It will take a few times to get, but don’t give up—it really works!

All this singing usually elicits a response from Sadie. She often smiles, which sends me dancing and singing like a circus monkey trying to get more of that invaluable treasure. Sometimes, she just looks at me like I’ve got an extra ear growing out of my forehead… who could blame her? These days, she even sings along in her own squealing little vibrato.

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But no matter what her reaction is, I’m pretty certain she instinctively understands that our singing over her is a sign of our affection. I have read and heard for years the verse that says, “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV). But to be quite honest, I never understood the idea that God would sing over me. In my mind, I was the one who was supposed to sing to him. I considered people who constantly perpetuated this idea to be a bit “touchy-feeling” and “flaky.”

But when Sadie came, all of that changed. As I write with tears in my eyes, I have become intimately aware of a father’s song—belted in complete and total uninhibited joy over the precious little one who’s life has enriched me so deeply. No shame. No restraint. The lyrics do not even matter that much yet; she cannot understand them. She cannot match my note vocally or add any musical value to my tune. She has nothing to give—except for her smile.

Yet my love is not diminished by this fact, not one little bit. It is amplified! She is the source of my joyful composition. Just her. Just the way she is.

Oh, to think that my Father feels this joy over me. To conceptualize the possibility that he has a unique spontaneous “silly” song about me that uses the letters of my name. Maybe this song is even about the very thing that I cry the most about at present. Does he take delight in my immaturity? I don’t think so, but he sure takes delight in me.

I can’t even begin to understand what he is doing right now to protect me. To teach me. To clean up after me. To gently and sometimes correctively bend the rigidity of my will to align with the treasured path he has prepared for me. To help me lie down in peace and comfort with no concept or clue of the dangers he is preserving me from in this moment. And in this one. And this one too.

I don’t have to understand; I just have to listen and react affectionately to the tone of his song. In the gentle timber of his Fatherly voice, I have found what matters most.

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