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Making a joyful noise

December 19, 2007 - Betsy Bethel
I don't think there's anything sweeter than the sound of a little child singing.

Emma started singing "Twinkle Twinkle" when she was about 16 months old. She picked up "up abuh" (up above) first, then added "tinkle sar, tinkle sar" for her unique version. Sooo cute!

When Emma sings along to her Elmo or Barney videos, I can't help but smile. She bounces up and down on her toes and sporadically shouts a word -- usually a lyric that falls at the beginning or end of a phrase. She is so proud of herself when she sings -- it's like she can't contain her happiness. At the end of a song, she laughs and claps and exclaims "Yaaayyyy!" Such shameless joy is so refreshing!

By the way, as annoying as the purple dinosaur can be, you learn to appreciate him when you sing the "I love you" song and your little one throws her arms around you for a "great big hug" and puckers up for that "kiss from me to you."

Sometimes she whispers songs. Shyness is alien to Emma's nature, so I'm not sure why she seemed sheepish about singing the "Happy Birthday" song to Grandma on Monday night. The most we could get out of her was a barely audible "hap birfday ... to you."

On the other hand, at bedtime, after lights-out, I've been singing "Away in a Manger" to Emma. The last few nights, she has started to sing along .. as loud as her little lungs can handle. So there we are, Emma all "comfy cozy" with her blankets, pillow and baby doll, and me kneeling next to her in the dark.

"a-WAY ... MAN-GER ... no crib ... BED! LITTLE lord je-SUS! ... down sweet ... HEAD!!!

Her face glows through the darkness as she sings. I sing along with her with a giant smile on my face. We sing two verses, then she says, "Again? Again?" and we start over. Then it's kisses, "sleep tight" and "sweet dreams."

My smile lingers as I close her door. Does it get any better than this?


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