I have seen a few viral videos recently of kids who “feel all the feelings” and break down sobbing at certain songs. This one makes me laugh because he’s aware that it’s not cool to cry like that, but he likes the way it feels. This one is hilarious because it’s like he’s so touched he can’t contain the tears. And he’s 10 months old. And this one cracks me up because she’s just seems SO SAD and the song has barely started.
They all strike a chord because Owen is EXACTLY the same way.
Pure, unadulterated, raw, unchecked emotion. All the time.
When he was around a year old I would sing to him all the time (ok, who are we kidding… I have sung to him all the time since before he was born and plan to continue long after he starts saying, “Stop singing, Mom. You’re so lame!”). But I rarely know the words to songs, so usually I just make them up about Owen. One of the few songs that I do know the words to is “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. It was our favorite song to sing on the changing table while I zipped him into his sweet little footie pajamas before bed. When I would get to the chorus that says, “when I’m feeling sad”, his brow would furrow, his lip would quiver, and he would CRY. Outright cry. Hard. So hard I would have to stop singing (usually from laughing so hard, but sometimes out of pity that the song was making him so darn sad). Benjamin and I swore we’d get it on video someday (and who knew it could have been a viral internet sensation!), but alas, it was one of those precious things that just stopped after a while. We picked a new song and that was that. Now it is just a memory I hope I never forget.
Fast forward to now. Our song repertoire has grown exponentially, most recently to include the favorites from “Frozen”. If you have a child under the age of 10 (or maybe even if you don’t!), I’m sure you know it. (And if you don’t, the music is AWESOME). You know the part in “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” where Anna sings, “Ok Bye” when Else won’t open the door? We were singing that together in the bathroom the other night while we filled the tub. I sang the “Ok Bye” line with a little musical theater flair, putting on my saddest face while I sang to Owen. All of a sudden his eyes filled with tears and they spilled out onto his cheeks while he took my face in his hands and said, “Don’t sing like that Mommy, it makes me SO SAD.”.
I was simultaneously super proud of my out-of-practice acting skills and overcome with how sweet and emotional my little boy is.
He absolutely takes after his father (who could be a viral video himself, crying at every single episode of “Parenthood” while hiding his face from me with a pillow). They both feel all the feelings so deeply. I could not love that about them more.
So now it has become a game. Every night at bathtime, Owen challenges me to sing those two words (“Ok Bye”) to him as sadly as I can to try to make him cry. If I come close, he’ll break character and tell me to stop singing because it’s making him too sad. Usually I can’t wipe the smile off of my face long enough to sing those two words without cracking up.
Feel all the feelings, kid. You’re in good company.