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The Soft Resolution

Submitted by on December 29, 2011 – 9:34 am35 Comments
pedro infante from puchica on flickr

Pedro Infante, Mexican actor and singer, regularly heard in my home.

During this time of year, when we make our lists, assess our lives, set our goals, I have decided to focus on what I have come to call a “soft resolution.”

A soft resolution is one that I know I’ll keep. It’s not a hard hitter. Not one that will get me closer to any of my professional or educational goals; but a resolution that will help me fill in the soft parts of my life that have been mistakenly left to chance.

The soft parts of my life are my children, my family. I feel like time is running through my hands, and my children know so little about me. They know me as their mother, I have been with them more than any other person they know. And though they see me daily, they know so little about me.

My soft resolution this year is to help them get to know me better through the music that has been important in my life.

I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household. My mother and grandmother played the records they brought with them to America from Colombia so much of the time. I remember coloring and playing dolls while Pedro Infante, Guillermo Portables, Lupita Palomera played in the background.

Their music always made me feel at peace, and like I belonged. When I was away at school, or at a friend’s house, I always felt as if I were stepping in on someone else’s culture. But when I was home, and this music played in the background, I felt solid in who I was.

I want my children to know about the music I grew up with and how it made me feel. I want them to know this about me. I want them to hear more of this music, more often. I want to bring this part of me into their lives softly. I’ve played some of Infante’s songs in the car a few times, to some pretty amazing reactions.

My three boys liked it. Not for long, never longer than one song at a time; but they liked it.

They say it makes them feel good, and like there’s a part of them in that music that they forget they were about.

I know just what they mean.

Share, por favor!


  • Alexandra says:

    As always, TikiTiki, you have taken me somewhere where I can find myself again. I stayed up late last night, listening to Lupita and Pedo on YouTube. The memories, the frame of mind, the feelings that came back.

    That’s what TikiTiki does to me. Keeps me who I am, something I grow more and more afraid of losing.

    Thank you.

  • Isn’t it amazing how much of an impact music has in our lives? This is a great resolution Alexandra, I love the idea of kids knowing their parents as *people*. They will love a whole new side of you.

  • Tracie says:

    I love this idea, of sharing more of yourself with your children this way. It is true that my daughter knows very much of me as her mother, but not much of me as myself or my history.

    • Alexandra says:

      Oh, you are so dear.

      I do hope you have your daughter know more about you. When our kids understand us–I really believe this–they’ll respond to us more.

      There is so much intimacy when you’re not strangers to each other.

      happy new year, wonderful T.

  • Arnebya says:

    I grew up on Motown. Cassettes and 8-track tapes and vinyl records. There is nothing I like more than to sit around our record player (yup, still got it) and listen to that popping sound. Records converted to CD? Puhleeze! Convenient, yes, but it loses its magic (to me). I adore that my husband discusses music with our kids, that the radio or iPod or record player is always going (unless it’s through headphones attached to the head of one of the children I have called umpteen times for a roll of toilet paper but who cannot hear me). We will listen to all sorts of music, but blues, jazz, r&b, and “early” hip hop are what you’ll usually find us listening to.

    While the girls love listening to music, especially the stories they can tell, lyrics that can be so passionate, so timely, so “just right,” the boy likes to make music. Nothing makes me smile more than him on his drum or tambourine or keyboard or xylophone that isn’t really a xylophone but I don’t know its real name. Music is a mainstay in our home and I’m glad to have yet another common interst with you.
    Arnebya´s last [fabulousness] ..Writer’s Workshop: 2011 Wrap-Up

  • brian says:

    def a cool way to share more of your life with the kids…music has the universal way of touching you in a way that moves you and it would not surprise me if it touched a part of their heritage deep inside them…

  • This “soft resolution” idea of yours is brilliant. You’re always hitting on the important points of life so poignantly and beautifully. I, too, want my children to know me better. I’m going to use this as one of my resolutions, too! That and the other one I read today about eating more cookies. ;) Love you, lady!
    Wombat Central´s last [fabulousness] ..Not Like I Do

  • What a beautiful resolution…

    And I love the idea of a “soft” goal; one you know you can reach for and will achieve.

    Music has always been incredibly important to me; but in this era of iPods and headphones, I don’t always hear what my children are listening to, nor do they share in my music choices as often as I did with my own parents.

    If you don’t mine, I’d like to steal this resolution.

    Softly, of course.
    And then crank up the music loud ~

    Wishing you a lovely, meaningful, purposeful new year, my friend.
    Now and always.

    • Alexandra says:

      Thank you, Julie.

      I don’t know how you do it, but you leave comments that leave me feeling like you get what I’m saying, one hundred percent.

      Thank you for keeping me from feeling like I’m shouting out into the wind.

      Happy New Year, dear lady.

  • Well you KNEW I would love this…music makes a connection so deep and powerful, what a wonderful way to surround your children with their heritage. Happy New Year!

    • Alexandra says:

      It truly is a visceral response. Something you can’t put into words when you attempt to explain yourself to your children.

      This music takes me back to finding myself, and what is amazing is that my children feel it.

      It is really something.

      I love music as much as you do, Nancy.

      If there are any music lovers out there, this is the woman to follow. Her blog is incredible on music in our daily lives is a must to keep current, to find something new, and to reminisce.

  • mark says:

    I think I’ll have my kids listen to Kajagoogoo and Bananarama. That’ll serve them right!
    But seriously, fun post and good idea!

  • I do love the idea of sharing YOU with your boys. I hope to do that with my children when they’re older, in some shape or form.
    Alison@Mama Wants This´s last [fabulousness] ..Two

    • Alexandra says:

      Sometimes, especially with boys, we can talk to much. Talk them to the edge of boredom.

      But sharing music, and bringing them to see who you are and your roots, help them solidify who they are.

      My hope is that sometime in the future, when I’m gone, they’ll hear a snippet of some music somewhere that’ll make them think of me.

      I’m going for the association here, and music is the best. Music brings a set of feelings that are automatic, and so authentic to who we are.

      It is such a gift.

      Have a wonderful New Year’s, sweet lady, and thank you for your incredible love this year.

      What a highlight to meet you.

  • I love this idea of a soft resolution. Truly love it. Thank you for this. I’m off to figure out what soft resolutions I might find here at the Bungalow in 2012. A wonderful post as always.

  • Lori Dyan says:

    Will you let us in on this resolution, too? I LOVE South American music (I don’t mean Shakira, although she rocks) – more suggestions and videos, please! Or maybe I’ll just come over for dinner one night? Too soon?
    xoxo and HAPPY New Year, my friend.

    p.s. we listen to a radio station in the car for kids that features such lyrical classics as “Mama Tooted”…I need to take back the music in my life!!!

  • I love the idea of a “soft resolution” — it seems so gentle, go nurturing, so do-able.

    Sharing yourself with your children is a huge gift. For Christmas this year, the boys and I got my dad a mahogany hand carved replica of the KC135 plane that he flew during most of his career in the Air Force.

    That model got him talking and talking and talking. Stories I didn’t know. Details of his life that he’d not shared before.

    The boys and I were mesmerized. I could have listened to him all night. It was like unlocking a secret door into his personality. I imagine the music you share with your kids will do the same.

    Happy New Year :)
    Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness´s last [fabulousness] ..My Addled Brain

  • Cynthia says:

    music is the great connector, in so many ways :) once in a while my mom takes out her tapes (yes, tapes) and plays them in her stereo in the background while we visit, and it totally transports me to home. and i’m glad my daughter is growing up with that as a soundtrack to her childhood, too.

    i recently found an awesome children’s book that basically summed up all the cultural traditions of where i grew up — south texas. that’s another way i can get my daughter to know a little about her momma (and abuelos and tatarabuelos, etc.)

    feliz año nuevo :)

    • Alexandra says:

      What a wonderful thing, that your daughter has the same deep connection to music that you have.

      that is fantastic. You both will respond to the music you hear in the same way: with comfort and a sense of belonging.

      Please thank your mother for me…this is exactly what I want to do with my children.

  • Anna Lefler says:

    Yes! I’m a big believer in this. I was never a fan of “kiddie” music when my kids were younger. Instead, I played the stuff that I heard in my house when I was their age – my parents’ music – like Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. (No, I’m not kidding.)

    As they got older, I switched over to my favorite stuff – an eclectic mix ranging from Hendrix to ELO to Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs to West Coast jazz from the 50s/60s. (Still serious.)

    Music is so powerful and important! I’m hoping to have “locked in” some great memories and moments that they will forever have of their youth and their nutty parents.

    Happy new year, lady!



  • Jessica says:

    This is such a wonderful post and resolution. Growing up, I missed out on so much of my who my parents were because they were mostly afraid to be themselves, or their adult selves, in our presence (if that makes sense) They owned many, many records, but never played them. They were funny, but hardly laughed except in private moments. They were interesting people, I realize now as an adult, but I didn’t know that then. Learning from them, I hope to remember to show my children all of who I am. I hope to remember to continue to be myself and to keep the parts of myself that make me, me to show them some day.

    • Alexandra says:

      This is exactly the thing, Jessica.

      My grandmother did tell me stories, and I have tried to ask my mother more, but she answers with, “why bring up the past.”

      I want my children to find an identity through me.

      I want them to feel who they are, and that means knowing your roots.

      I don’t want them to not feel tethered to any family tree.

      Good luck to the both of us, right? We want the best for our children emotionally and that involves knowing where they come from.

      Thank you for your sincere comment. I could feel what you were saying.

      Happy New year, and peace to you, sweet lady.

  • Ann says:

    What a nice resolution! I’m glad that the music you grew up with makes you happy….that’s what music should do! Your children will appreciate this in later years! Happy New Year!

  • Carrie says:

    Alexandra, I love this…and I love how you inspired some music in people…Even Kajagoogoo! (I love them!)

    I have always shared the music of my childhood with Maria — and I have shared lots of Talking Heads and New Wave music too. Sometimes she starts singing the lyrics I love and my heart melts.

    It has helped us promote the Spanish, and yes, get me a little bit.

    Her school choir added a Spanish pop song to their list this Fall — Maria Isabel by Los Payos — and her teacher was kinda shocked to learn Maria knew all the words. I have been singing it to her since she was an infant. It is a song my Tia taught me when I was really little and it always has held a special place in my heart.

    Music is good for spreading culture and giving insight into your own heart…xo
    Carrie´s last [fabulousness] ..¡Basta Ya! Stop Breaking Resolutions

    • Alexandra says:

      Thank you, Carrie.

      Your comment means so much to me.

      I think of how children need to feel a sense of identity. A tether that points them to who they are.

      I remember feeling lost and at the same time found, by the culture I was born into.

      It’s a funny thing, but it made me feel different, and that different is what made me so independent of peer pressure.

      I never felt like part of a group…and that kept me on my own path.

      It’s hard to explain, but at the end of it all, I’m glad I always thought of the word “different” when thinking of myself.

      Thank you for the joy of being part of TikiTiki.

      I meant that with all my heart.

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