Top 10 Songs to Send Your Child off to School By
I have recently found myself facing one of the biggest milestones a parent can reach while raising children, my young son will be entering Kindergarten. As any of you who have been through this, or will soon be facing it know, it is something that fills you with a myriad of emotions.
On one hand, I find myself brimming with excitement. PTA meetings, school plays, homework, watching my son grow from a boy into a young man. What’s not to look forward to? Other times I look at him, and all I see is that sweet blue-eyed boy that we brought home from the hospital five short years ago. How can I send my baby out into the world? Will one of those little girls running around be the first to break his heart? Will he stand up to his first bully, or have his spirit broke by him? Will he enjoy school, or will he rebel against it?
It’s so difficult to not know these answers, but know that I have to let him go anyway. There are parents out there reading this who are feeling this too. Maybe its not Kindergarten, maybe you’re sending yours off to college, or for some of you, you’re baby is getting married. Whichever one you’re facing, it’s still the same.
It just like when they were toddlers learning to walk. You wanted them to walk, but you feared for them, because you knew that they were going to have to fall before they could walk. As with any other big moment in life, I have a running soundtrack playing in my head right now. These are the songs that I hear playing in my head as I fill my son’s first backpack with school supplies. As I fill out his emergency cards, and shop for his new shoes. As I watch him begin his life.
So for every parent whose little one is starting Kindergarten, college, or simply starting their own life, here is a list of tunes to sneak onto their Ipod before they go.
1. Everything But The Girl-Apron Strings
Being a mom, the term “Apron String:” has a number of meanings, but the strings that are sung about in this EBTG tune are the ones that every mom wishes they could forever keep their baby safely wrapped in for the rest of their lives.
2. Kate Bush-This Woman’s Work
When its time for your child to begin making journeys on their own, without you, it leaves you plagued with fear. Have you done a good job? Have you given them all the tools they need to be strong and to succeed? Those are some of the questions that flood my mind when I hear this Kate Bush classic.
OK, so maybe this is slightly on the melodramatic side, but it truly captures the essence of what every parent desperately hopes for when letting go of their little one. That wherever your child goes they know that we will always be there. That when they need us to go slow, we will always fall behind, when they are lost we will always be there to help them find their way, and when they fall we will always catch them. Time after time after time.
(Honorable mention goes to True Colors)
4. Rod Stewart– Forever Young
One of the classic songs about what a parent feels for a child. So much so, that I’ve heard this song played at weddings, funerals, graduation parties, and baby showers. Its universal message of parental love comes through no matter what path of life you are on. I even used this song in a video I made for my parents 25thwedding anniversary. Now, as I look at my son who is so quickly turning from a boy to a young man, all I see is that young baby we brought home from the hospital about to go to school.
5. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young- Teach Your Children
This tune is pretty much a given. I, like most parents I’m sure, hope that all of my crazy insecurities and quirks haven’t damaged my son too much. And I know in the years to follow he will have so much more to teach us than we could ever begin to teach him.
6. The Cast of Rent-Seasons of Love
It’s so surreal to look back on the years spent watching your child grow. This song always makes me flash on the idea of how many diapers have I changed? How many tears have I wiped away, scraped knees have I kissed? How many tickle fits, time outs, bowels of Mac & Cheese, swings, campfires, nightmares, sing alongs, legos, stories have I read, and kisses goodnight have there been? I couldn’t begin to count, but I could tell you that there have been miles and miles of love, and so many more miles to cover.
I was already past my due date with my son when I became obsessed with hearing this song. I hadn’t heard it in ages and with my son soon to be making his debut, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. So I dragged my very pregnant self to Target and bought Kenny Loggins greatest hits CD and sat in the parking lot and listened to it. I went home and sat in the nursery, decked out in all Winnie The Pooh décor, and listened to it again. Now as I listen to it almost six years later, with that same little guy about to embark on his own adventures, I’m still as excited as I was the day he was born.
8. Cat Stevens –Wild World
When most people hear this tune they automatically think “break up” song, but when I heard it on the radio recently, it kind of struck me how it’s about all the scary things that are out there. Bullies, mean teachers, broken hearts, friends who turn out to not be friends; all the things that a parent can’t ever protect a child from. It truly is a wild world out there.
9. Beautiful Boy- John Lennon
Though I feel so much that my son is growing up, this song makes me realize the reality is, he’s still my boy. And we do have such a long way to go. And each day life with him gets better and better, and I can’t wait to what the next part of his life will bring.
10. Three Little Birds-Bob Marley
If there was one message I could forever embed into my child’s mind to take with him everywhere he goes for the rest of his life, it would be this. Everything little thing is going to be all right.
For everybody who is entering into a new phase of parenthood, whether it is becoming a parent, sending a child off to Kindergarten or college, or sending them into marriage, I wish you the best, and if music captures you like it does me, listen to these with a hanky nearby.