I was riding in the car this morning, happily tapping my hand to a tune on my radio’s Billy Joel Station, and then it happened. My smile gave way to nostalgic tears as the first bars of “The River of Dreams” began to play. “Oh no. This is not good,” I thought. I cannot walk into the store with red eyes. So I took a few deep breaths and pinched my nose between my eyes to stop the flow of tears, but I couldn’t stop the flow of memories.
As I mentioned in The Power of Music, certain songs are like time machines, but this was the first time that particular song made me cry. I don’t know why now and not all the other times.
When I listened to the song today, I was back in our home in New Jersey. The three of you were in your pj’s, playing and laughing and stalling because it was bedtime and no one was ready to climb the stairs to your rooms, ending the day. Then I put that song on, and you all stopped what you were doing and headed up the stairs. I seem to recall some, or maybe all of you, putting your hands straight in front of you as if you were sleep walking, because this was part of your routine.
So today I wondered, do you think of those moments when you hear that tune, and will any of you have a special song to accompany the bedtime routines of your own children?