Putting Gus to sleep requires three musical numbers preferably performed by both mom and dad. He’s the happiest when a parent is stationed at each side of the crib; this way he can look up and see an adoring, crooning parent out of both corners of his eyes. It used to be that we could sing him anything, but he has become finickier as he approaches the ripe old age of two. I’ll start in with a personal favorite, Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea… only for it to be met with vigorous head shakes and a long string of repeated no’s. Note to self: mark Baby Beluga off the dwindling repertoire.
It’s great when I see Gus having a visceral reaction to a song that he hears. It’s cute and hysterical, and I know that it’s a candidate for the bedtime list. Like when his dad played him Yellow Submarine. Gus went nuts! We all live in a yellow submarine… head bobbing side to side, high knees up and down, grin from ear to ear. It’s a winner! And, really, how can it not be? The song straight up makes you feel happy.
The song has me remembering a conversation that I had with my friend Conor in college. We were reclined on our friend’s roof having a beer and watching the stars. “You know I don’t tell many people this, but my mom says I’m related to Buffalo Bill Cody.” It’s really for laughs. Although, I do remember my mom saying something about it once.
Conor’s reaction is perfect. “What?!” He’s super impressed. “That’s amazing!”
He’s quiet for a moment, and then says, “Not as cool, but my mom says I’m related to the man who invented the yellow submarine.” This time I’m blown away because I can’t imagine a better response.
“That is cool! I mean not as cool, but cool!” I ramble and continue to play along.
Looking back, and knowing Conor, the yellow submarine suits him. If he came from anywhere, it had to have been some place musical and magical.
Some years from now, when I imagine telling Gus that he’s related to the man who invented the yellow submarine, I don’t think Conor will mind. I might even add… and his name was Conor; and he loved to play the guitar for people, and everyone who had the luck of crossing his path, knew there was something special about him.
*In memory of my friend Conor, 2002