There's a special song that is very close to my heart. It's the song my grandpa and I danced to at my wedding, the melody (I incorrectly thought) I listened to when I wound up my music box as a child, and the words I sung over and over to my growing belly at night.
In my mind, I had heard the tune of "Beautiful Dreamer" play constantly through the music box my grandpa gave me one birthday. That made it the perfect song for us to waltz to at my wedding. My grandpa was an exceptional dancer, always going to or coming home from a dance where he wore one of his snazzy bow ties or blazers. I was all nerves as people watched us on the dance floor that night, but my grandpa made it look like we belonged there.
The music box was lost for many years. As I got older, I didn't think it was very cool having it on my shelf anymore. So with the other memories of childhood, it got packed away and moved to the back of a closet. It suddenly became important again and took on new meaning, though, when I was planning my wedding. After a search that proved more difficult than we thought, my mom finally found it in a long forgotten hiding place. The little blue house, with the rooms that moved to the music wouldn't play, though. It quickly fell off my radar again.
Seven years went by. Upon learning I was pregnant with a girl, I was brought back to all those nights of winding up my house and watching the little family inside go about their daily activities as I listened to the tink tink tink of the melody.
A few days before my baby shower, my mom gave me a gift. It was my music box, all cleaned up and ready to play. Apparently my little hands had over wound it years ago and all my parents had to do was loosen it a bit to get the music playing. At first they were overjoyed, until they realized the little box was playing a tune other than the expected "Beautiful Dreamer". And the rooms didn't spin anymore.
When I started the music box, the real melody it played came flooding back to me, as well as the realization that I had heard "Beautiful Dreamer" on my sister's musical unicorn, which I had probably stolen from her room countless times.
Originally wanting to present me with this sweet and sentimental gift from my past for my future baby at my shower, my mom was concerned I would be too disheartened that it didn't play the song that I equated with my grandpa, so she decided to give it to me early. I was a bit disappointed and do think she made the right choice. After thinking about it some more, though, I'm glad things played out the way they did. If I hadn't formed the wrong connection between the music box and song it played, my grandpa and I might have picked another song to dance to that night. And I can't think of a more perfect song to serenade us during our last dance.
While I was pregnant, I read that singing to your baby in the womb is a wonderful way to interact with her and she may even recognize the song after she's born. The fact that Everly would associate this song with me and might remember it left me over analyzing what song to sing to my belly. I sang a handful of songs that meant something to me, but the song I sang the most was "Beautiful Dreamer".
I have so many favorite memories of Everly and me, but the absolute closest to my heart is how she responds when I sing "Beautiful Dreamer". Since she was born, the second I start singing the song, she quiets down and either stares at me or "sings" along.
She doesn't do this with any other song I sing her.
This one is special.
This one encompasses the memories of the past, the joys of the present, and the promises of the future. Everly doesn't yet know how much it means to me that she connects with this song. Sometimes I imagine my grandpa and me twirling around the dance floor as I rock Everly at night, lulling her to sleep with this sweet melody.
For me, it's a way of introducing Everly to her great-grandpa.
This past Christmas, I received another gift. This time from Wade. And in it was a musical carousel horse. Can you guess what it played?
It was one of the most thoughtful gifts Wade has given me, and that's saying a lot since he's a superb gift giver.
Now Everly has two very special music boxes, and I can't wait to tell her the stories around both of them.