Remembering Raffi

I’ve been in a funk the past few days. The fact that my daughter, as mentioned here, is leaving this Friday for six weeks is partly responsible. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for her. She is going to be attending a truly wonderful program at a college she wants to possibly attend in the future, in an area of study she is passionate about. All of that is great–it is. I am just going to miss her like crazy. I already do, and she is still here!

This morning I was feeling particularly sorry for myself. You see, I made the choice (can’t go into the reasons here) not to go with my husband to drop my daughter off. I had to make a decision and I made the one that I thought was best at the time, based on information I had when tickets had to be booked, and now I am stuck. I cannot go. So, along with already missing her (she’s not gone yet!) I am feeling miserable because I will not be taking her across the country, will not see her off.

I’ve used the fact that I won’t be going to increase the level of my upset. It was already high, but I managed to make it that much worse by focusing on what I won’t be doing, and not on what I have done (helped her get ready, spent time alone with her, set-up Skype and other ways to stay in touch). Then this morning, while in the shower (do some of my best thinking in the shower) I remembered something important. Something my daughter and I have shared for years: a song by the children’s entertainer Raffi.

Yes, Raffi. If you don’t know who Raffi is and you have young children–Google now. When my daughter was around 18 months old my mother bought us two CDs by Raffi. Not sure how she heard of him, but she did and she wanted me (and more importantly, my daughter) to hear him too. Could be that she didn’t think a steady diet of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was good for my daughter’s development–hey, we threw some XTC in there too! I kid, we listened primarily to music from Sesame Street prior to our introduction to Raffi.

Anyway, once we started listening to Raffi we were hooked. And one song in particular really touched a nerve with me. That song came to mind this morning, right in the middle of the shower. My daughter, like most of us, has a very bright light inside of her. A very bright light indeed. She needs (has no choice really) to let that light shine. She is going to do exactly that, on the East Coast, for the next six weeks. Somehow, when I think about it that way, I am okay with her not being here.

So, big ups to Raffi (though I am aware his song is based on a negro spiritual) for reminding me, that no matter what, that light must shine. I wish I could always be in close proximity to those rays–makes my light shine brighter when I am–but that is not reality. She will be fine. I will be fine. And that little light will shine. And you know what the best part is? The part that offers me the greatest comfort? The willingness to let go, even a bit? She won’t let anyone blow it out.


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10 responses

  1. I still have an emotional response when I hear Raffi. My kids loved Raffi while they were toddlers. I feel for you during this transition. Our oldest, Eli, is going away to college next year and I’m already missing him!

    • I understand that completely. I am lucky I still have two years with her home–just not this summer. 😦 We’ll have to talk about where your son is going to school. I’d love to hear about his college admissions experience.

  2. Jen, you should know Little Light of Mine brings me to tears EVERYTIME. I remember singing it in vacation bible school (oh bejesus yes…I grew up in TX). I have it by about 12 different artists including Dolly Parton. But Raffi reigns supreme. Have you heard his song All I Really Need? I must be hormonal as tears are springing up right now.

    I just perused your blog and clearly I should be reading you more often. We share a severe love for 80s music. If ever you want to swap iTunes let me know, I’m just up the coast. I bet a bottle of cheap wine that I’ve got more 80s music than you and I’d love to find out what we’re both missing.

    Cheers and thanks for the support on the doggone problem.

    • Thanks for the comment Jen and for checking out my blog. Would love to trade and talk music. One of my favorite things to do. This Little Light of Mine usually reduces me to tears as well. I love hearing Gospel versions of the song–but Raffi’s, because it speaks to the child in all of us–and includes the line I won’t let anyone blow it out slays me.

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