When I was little, and my mom was my universe, we spent a lot of time in the car together. Going on errands. Having adventures. Driving to and from her work. And in the car, like a third passenger, there was always music. Good music. My mom’s tastes tended toward 60’s/70’s rock and 80’s pop, so the soundtrack to my days riding shotgun plays back like a “best of” compilation from those golden decades: The Stones. Prince. Crosby, Stills and Nash. Tears for Fears. The Who. Duran Duran. Cream. Depeche Mode. Led Zepplin. Wham. And, of course, the Beatles.
I never forgot my childhood vow of fealty to “In My Life.” But flash forward twenty some odd years to my actual wedding to my now husband, Tony, and something about that tune just didn’t feel right. Like I was superimposing an idea of a perfect moment onto a reality that had its own song to sing. And so, I shelved my childhood musical sweetheart. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Several years later, I found out I was pregnant. And a new journey with the next love of my life began. “Sing to your baby,” said the experts. “They can hear you in the womb.” Now, that was pregnancy advice I could get on board with. But all the usual childhood ditties – twinkle twinkle this and rock-a-bye that – felt generic and trite on my tongue. They didn’t make me feel anything, so I couldn’t connect to them. And if I couldn’t connect to them, I certainly couldn’t use them as a bridge to my baby.
Then, one day driving home from work, the right words came to me. Or, I should say, came back to me. Straight from a passenger seat in the past. And they were as perfect a dedication to true love as I always knew they would be. I sang them to my baby that day, and every day after, and felt in my heart a swell equal to that rising day-by-day in my belly.
“In My Life” was my son’s first lullaby, his only lullaby. It was my link to him in the womb, and, once we finally welcomed Wyatt into the world, my comfort for him during his ride home from the hospital. I sing the words to him daily, to lull him to sleep, to chase away tears, to tell him how truly special he is to me. It is, and always has been, our song.