I try to play music for the little dude when I’m thinking about it. I play what is important to me, what is important to Graham. I play him music that Graham made. I play him classical. I play him rock. I play him jazz. I go back to the music that has given me comfort throughout my life, and I’m sure it’s as much for me as it is for him.
Sometimes I talk to him and explain something about the song. Or a memory associated with it. Or a person who comes to mind when I hear the song. Sometimes I sing along, hoping that he can hear that too. Some of the songs I’ll sing to him later, when he’s with us. Some he’ll only hear played and sung by someone else.
Last weekend it was Springsteen. We listened to Born to Run and the Live 75-85 album. Both are old, both have specific memories associated with them.
Today is the Beatles. We started with Sgt. Pepper, moved to Revolver, and just finished the White Album. Now, we’re listening to Abbey Road.
I haven’t talked to him about it yet, but I’m sure Graham is mentally working on a playlist in his head for those first few hours/days with him. Songs that mean something to us. Songs we want to be important to him. Songs that soothe. Songs that inspire. Songs that bring joy and happiness. Songs that bring peace and inspire slumber.
I think this focus on music is really just a simple way of connecting. A way of connecting that has been used for millennia. A shared language between people, and it’s a way that our little dude can start to feel things, hear things, even it they’re just disparate noises that come together a little. And it exposes him to stimuli without us necessarily having to do anything more than looking up what we want to hear and pressing “play.”
And music is a value that Graham and I want to pass on to him. It’s really important to both of us. It moves us. It inspires us. For Graham, it was a source of income and profession for decades.
And so this this will probably happen to him for the rest of his life with me. Sometimes he’ll love it, and we’ll connect through it. Sometimes he’ll roll his eyes and want to be anywhere else. And that’s ok. He’ll develop his own tastes. He’ll follow the trends of his own generation. He’ll make his own choices. But we’ll give him the building blocks to do that.