I miss my kids. Not just as they are now -the funny, bright, annoying, boring people they have become with their busy lives, exciting plans and lives far away. I miss them, for how they used to be, when they were mine, when I held their hands and wiped away their tears.

It’s not all the time, this missing them. But sometimes, it hits me with the force of a hurricane, and I catch myself, staggering under the weight of it, the longing for a time and a place and a them that is now gone.

My daughter sang all through her childhood. She sang before she could talk, singing her first words out, chasing after big brothers, like a Disney princess in hand-me-down dungarees.

She didn’t stop singing. There was the choir and the school plays and later the singing lessons and school shows until she left school with a classically trained singing voice.

I miss her singing.

That’s not to say I always appreciated it at the time. Do your kids play musical instruments? If they do then you will know the horror. There is nothing lovelier than seeing your wee one, standing on the school stage at the Christmas concert, playing along on their guitar/recorder/ violin to whatever song they have been learning.

Sadly, this is not the first time you’ve heard it. It’s not the 10th time or the 50th time, or even the 100th. You’ve been listening to it for the past twelve weeks.

Was I just a rubbish parent? I cannot have been the only one, who ‘really, for the love of god, please, really’ – would sit at home with gritted teeth praying for them to stop.

They have to practice. And it’s good for them to have a hobby, and learn something new, it’s meant to be fun. And while I am thrilled that they are having a great time and being all educational, could you please, please please just stop for five minutes!

Learning to play an instrument should be there, for any kid that wants it regardless of a family’s ability to pay.  Doing A-level music, my girls’ lessons were free. I’m not sure we’d have afforded it otherwise.

Our house is not very big, and the sound carried. There weren’t many places to hide. At any one time, someone could be practising the saxophone, piano, violin, guitar and of course the dreaded recorder. (One son did request a drum kit, but I just said no.) And of course, there was my daughter singing.

‘It must be so lovely, to have her singing at home?’ other parents would say. ‘She is so talented! What a Joy.’

And she was so talented, and her voice was a joy. But it was all the bloody time. Every day. Constantly. Sometimes I just wanted a little quiet.

 I’m a rubbish mum I know.

A memory came up on Facebook. A video of my daughter singing. My heart broke with the longing to hear her voice again, to have my house invaded with teens all singing and laughing and playing along.

 It is quiet here now and it is lovely, but I miss her voice more than I can tell you. I call her, to tell her I miss her song.

‘I’m not dead, mother,’ she sighs, ‘just in Cardiff.’

I know,’ I say feeling foolish.

I just miss that song from long ago.

This was originally published in Lemon-Aid – a twice weekly Newsletter on all aspects of parenting.

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One thought on “Missing their song

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