Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

17 January 2006

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Entering the final section of this book today, only about a dozen or so posts to go from this volume. This section is called 'Music to Lift the Spirit'. Hmmm. This one does have quite a catchy marching beat, though it's just not really 'me'. This song has many totally different sets of words, starting with 'John Brown's Body', and is another song originating around the time of the Civil War. I was going through a Stephen Foster songbook yesterday, looking for songs to sing with my singing group, and that's another big source for the Civil War-era tunes: lots and lots of death everywhere. We decided to veto anything about dead children. It seems in very poor taste for a school performance. And look what happened to Mahler.

I have acheived a new level of bad parenting, and it will haunt me for a good long while. As part of my 'new computer celebration', I purchased, off eBay, the original Sims game, and an expansion. This is the first computer that I've had that will run this game. It almost makes up for the fact that my very favorite game of all, Civilization, in its latest version will still not run on this computer. My G3 processor just doesn't have what it takes. I'm very sad about this, and aware of my intense geekiness, as well.

At any rate, I've just started to play this game, creating my first Sim family a few days ago. I'm still figuring it all out, it seems a little slow, but interesting enough, and a decent sacred stupid activity to engage in. My daughter saw the game in action and asked to start a family of her own. Stupidly, I saw no harm in this (what about the Teen rating on the package? hello?!!). So we create her Sim family, parents and a little girl, who is immediately sent off to school. The father of the family is making breakfast, the stove catches fire, he attempts to extinguish it, catches fire, and dies. Oh dear sweet Goddess. The figure of Death even shows up to take him away, as I stare in shock. My daughter is hysterical, screaming. I shut down the game without saving it. My husband runs out from the downstairs shower, dripping wet in his towel, sure that some physical catastrophe has happened. My daughter will not be comforted. She is afraid to go to bed that night, afraid for me to leave her at school the next day, very clingy. We try to explain that games are different, contained artificially, with their own rules. We hug her a lot, and comfort her as best we can. I am going to agonize over this for a long time.

We don't speak down to our daughter, and she has a fairly impressive vocabulary and understanding of the world because of this. And sometimes we forget that she is not just a minature adult, she is a child, with a child's understanding of the world, or misunderstanding thereof. This is an understandable forgetting in some ways, but I still feel horrible.

Tonight, after we read our book, turned out the light and sang our song, she was still feeling unable to sleep, and in need of comfort. I know that the answer for us is not to let her sleep in our bed, as much as she would like that, and I did the best thing I could think to do. I asked her to imagine strong warrior angels around her bed, protecting her. We named them: Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel. We gave them their colors, animals friends, necessary props. Since this is another gift we have given her, this gift of imagination, belief in magic and energetic protection, I'm hoping that the gift can counteract my gross mistake in some measure. I beseech the archangels for their support.


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