Monday, January 05, 2009

Face Unafraid

My parents have two main go-to songs they hum when comforting a child. They've hummed them for me, for every nightmare and scrapped knee, and they've hummed them for every tiny niece and nephew I've seen come through their home. They hum them for our children today.

I guess that's the kind of habit a person inevitably picks up from their parents, because the first song I ever sang to our boys was one of the two: You are my sunshine.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

The song is more about unrequited love in the verses, but the chorus gets right to the core of me. They are my sunshine, and they will never know how much I love them, at least not until they have children of their own. And that last line... When you have politicians and "pro-family" activists up at your state capitol citing their unquestionable faith in the "Word of God" to show that gay people shouldn't be allowed to parent... well, it holds a touch of one of my greatest fears.

The second song though isn't near as serious or, seemingly, applicable; it's Winter Wonderland.

I know. My mom may be caught humming it in the middle of summer, and now I'm guilty too.

In fact, after I reflexively hummed it at a low coming-out point 16 years ago, causing both of us to crack up and Rob to feel a lot better, it became our song.
Rob will lie and say that the jury is still out, in hopes for a better song, but you just can't choose these kinds of things. I'm resigned to the fact that we're stuck with Winter Wonderland; that is the song between me and the love of my life. No other meets all the criteria.

This all comes to mind because I'm putting together our family DVD for last year. I collect the stills and videos and put them to music. I've done this for every year of the boys' life (The first song is, of course, You Are My Sunshine). It's kind of my way of scrapbooking, and it seems to be worth while as the boys love to watch them.

What they haven't probably noticed yet, though, is that, while I use a wide variety of music, each of their seven Christmases are set to the same song, to Winter Wonderland, performed by everyone from the Cocteau Twins to Elvis.

This weekend I was putting together last year's Christmas and listening to the song, this time performed by Darlene Love, and I found the lyrics to be not quite as silly as I once thought:

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you're in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we've made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

I'm not one for making New Year resolutions, but, if I did, I'd hope "to face unafraid the plans that we've made" (or at least "conspire" to do so :-))... I just wish that California's courts could decide what our marriage license is worth there, and soon, so that we can get on to the business of facing those plans that follow.

Moving would not be easy, but it beats having your family treated by your government and culture as though it was worth a marriage solemnized by a snowman.


Guy said...

I love it! Those words have much more meaning now. May we all "face unafraid" and successfully conspire in this new year. :)

Ezra said...

I hope California overturns it too. Here's hoping!

Queers United said...

You have totally changed my view on this song now, thank you.

chosha said...

I still find that song silly, but those few lines are lovely and I'd never really clicked before what they said. Nice.