Over Memorial Day weekend we traveled to Vancouver for a short get away. We liked Vancouver when we went for Lucy’s birthday, but really went because it was the location of Raffi’s Beluga Grads tour kick off. I remember listening to Raffi when I was little, maybe not when I was Lila’s age but definitely when my brother Scott was Lila’s age. Joshua Giraffe, Baby Beluga and Down by the Bay were mainstays of my childhood. While as a parent I may have listened to Baby Beluga a few more times than I may have wished, I’ve loved sharing Raffi and his music with the girls.
The concert was pretty spectacular. Hundreds of toddlers, all thrilled to see Raffi and yes, even more excited when he sang “a song about a whale.” Lila loved that he was singing songs that she knew and she had been looking forward to the concert because she knew that “Raffi likes it when kids sing along.” A fifty minute kids concert may seem like a minor event to travel to another country for, but I just loved being there with Lila and Lucy. (That and three year olds can barely sit in one place for 50 minutes and their almost 18 month old younger siblings can only make it through about 30. Raffi knows his audience.)
Just as Raffi had done years ago in the concert featured on his live album (which is played almost as much as Baby Beluga in our house), he ended his show with “This Little Light of Mine.” As cheesy as it may be, this is the moment when the gravity of the event hit me. To me this song had always been about sharing your own talents with the world. It was always about me. But on Saturday, sitting there with Lila on my lap as we sang along, it was apparent to me that the song was not about me anymore. My “little light” is now these two little girls and it is my job as their mom to make sure their lights shine brightly. It is my job to bring these little lights around the world (figuratively and hopefully literally) and most of all, it is my job to make sure no one ever blows their light out. To support and encourage them in whatever they may choose to do – even if that means touching a real snake, as is Lila’s current life goal.
So thank you to Raffi for a wonderful afternoon that let me enjoy old favorites with my little girls and for helping me to understand how much things have changed since I first heard Baby Beluga so many years ago, and thanks to Vancouver for another great weekend. I’m so happy and lucky to have shared this with my little lights.