She could operate my iPod before she was eating solid food and had very specific tastes. For Christmas last year she told me all she wanted was a guitar and “sheep” music.
She got a guitar and in an effort to keep her musical tastes family-friendly, I downloaded several Kidz Bop albums to our families music library. If she was going to be memorizing the words to every song she liked, I preferred that they be words she could repeat in Sunday school without me having to explain myself.
While I often find my 8-year-old, Aubrey, curled up in a corner of the house with a book, Emma is usually standing in front of a mirror, music blasting, working on her dance moves and singing at the top of her lungs.
She tries to play her guitar but she’s small for her age and her tiny little hands just aren’t big enough yet. So this year she started taking piano lessons. She rolls her eyes and gets huffy on occasion when I tell her it’s time to practice but usually all I have to say is, “Do you want to be a rock star or not?” to get her off the couch and in front of the keyboard.
This past weekend we went to see The Farm People (my in-laws) in Alabama for Thanksgiving. The Farm People have hayrides of epic proportions: hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, crockpots full of chili simmering nearby, a table full of desserts and Pop Pete’s famous hot chocolate bubbling in the biggest pot they own. Pop Pete hitches his mules to the wagon for moonlit rides through the hayfield.
There is always a bonfire, square dancing and music. This year, there was karaoke.
I was surprised when Emma came to me begging to sing. Her first dance recital was a complete bust. She was absolutely horrified at the thought of being on stage in front of all those people, but this weekend she could not be dissuaded.
She wanted to sing and she wanted to sing Taylor Swift.
I went with her to help her find a song she knew. Emma got a little sheepish once she was on the stage and asked me to get her cousin Faith to sing with her.
Faith came, bringing a gaggle of girls with her and surrounded by a protective wall of tweens, Emma sang her heart out. She sang three Taylor Swift songs in a row and when the DJ handed a microphone to another little girl, Emma waved me over. I leaned down so she could whisper in my ear.
“I want everybody off the stage but Faith!” she hissed.
I told my little diva that this wasn’t a private concert and she was going to have to share the spotlight. After a few more songs, I dragged her off the stage to let other people sing.
Later, I overheard someone ask Emma what she wants for Christmas this year and she didn’t hesitate.
“I want a violin AND a ukelele.”
Now if we could just figure out how she could play all these instruments at the same time, her Daddy and I can retire.
Robin Wiley O’Bryant is a syndicated humor columnist, author and speaker. She was born and raised in Jasper and now lives in Mississippi with her husband and three daughters. Read more online at www.robinschicks.com or email Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org.