It is not my intention to skip over the entry in which I discuss how I locked my dog outside the front door on Friday night, which led to mass hysteria in the Smith household and a 48 hour mad search for our missing furry baby. He was found on Sunday and is safe and cozy at home, thank God. However, after writing 4 versions depicting the event and all of the emotions that came with it, I have decided I need some space before I can write about it. It was quite the nightmare.
But something else of note happened this morning that I wanted to share.
We sing a lot in this house and Zachary has learned our usual playlist, and now makes requests. One of our favorites is "Open up your heart and let the sunshine in". Perhaps you remember it from an episode of the Flinstones, during which a darling Pebbles and Bam bam play banjos and drums and become famous for the hit tune. It's a classic. However, although I grew up singing this with my family, I only know the chorus, which when sung, loops and loops and loops back into itself with no ending. So, before putting Z into his crib for quiet time so I could put Ellie down for her morning nap, I decided it would be fun to learn the whole song. I quickly bought it on iTunes, transferred it to my iPod and put it on repeat in his room before grabbing his monitor and leaving with Isabelle.
As I rocked her, I excitedly tuned into the lyrics as I heard them through the monitor's speaker. Lovely chorus, with a beautiful message, one I strive to live by. How would the verses add to this perfect song? Here is what I set to incessantly play in my 2 year old’s room, over and over and over:
"Mommy told me something, a little kid should know.
It’s all about the devil and I’ve learned to hate him so.
When your heart is filled with gloom the devil jumps with Glee,
So open up your heart and let the sun shine in!"
HOLY H*#L!!!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SONG ABOUT LIGHT AND LOVE?
Insert lovely chorus and it gets better!
“If I forget to say my prayers, the devil jumps with Glee
but he feels so awful, awful when he sees me on my knees.”
I practically threw Isabelle into her crib and rushed to mute the words blaring into my son's head, who by the way, forgets nothing. I turned it off and he begged "Sun shine in?! Sun shine in?!" I stuttered in a panic, "No, no, no!!! No sunshine in! No sunshine in!!” as I fumbled to delete the song from the playlist.
Without opening myself up for too much debate about religion, as this is personal, I have to say that I believe that faith itself is the foundation for a thriving family, whatever the spiritual path may be. I will also go as far as to say that ideas of “darkness” are often unavoidable in terms of one’s spiritual journey. But, are these topics the sort that should be offered up disguised in hoot'nanny form for our young children? We want to terrify them into praying, and tell them if they’re sad, the devil gets their souls? Not my two year old, for sure.
The saddest thing, is the fact that it’s a really great song! Catchy melody and beautiful message, minus the verses. I think I shall take it upon myself to rewrite it so that we can go on letting the sunshine in. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. But until I come up with my Al Yankovic brilliance, we will stick with our A cappella version of the ever repeating chorus. Zachary just recently triumphed over his fear of trucks, adding Satan to the mix is certainly not on my agenda.
Here is the link to the Flinstones clip. Notice how the cartoon and melodic tone mask the actual words and what they are implying. Tricky. Very tricky indeed.