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Tone Deaf Daddy

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A Mother’s Day Ode

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I am taking a break from fitness writing this month to write a story for Mother’s Day and poke some fun at myself.

This tale starts in college, when I was a freshman – a tone-deaf freshman – and nobody knew, not even me. I was practicing with friends for a talent show. The theme was songs from the movie Forrest Gump. During the first practice, all the young men sang the same songs, over and over again. It was easy to hide in the background while my peers sang their heart off. The second practice it was harder to hide when an upper-classman requested to “Just have Krit sing.”

Growing up, my sister was the piano player and in the chorus club. I was not a singer and it never bothered me. It never dawned on me that I had no vocal skills. Until I was 14, I could pass for my sister on the phone so I thought maybe I could sing. I was wrong.

When I started singing “What the World Needs Now is Love,” it was clear I had no business even attempting to carry a tune. When everyone stopped laughing, another older student added, “We have a new plan: Krit will sing all the songs. And we will try not to laugh.” Fortunately, it was impossible to not laugh while I sang; partly showmanship, but mostly horrible singing.

That memory slowly faded, and I started my working career. Normally, singing was never something I would do at work. Then it happened. My boss Tracy was a cabaret singer. He did plays and had his own one-man show. He sang around the office all the time, and his humming was a little infectious, so I started to sing. I don’t think I even meant to. It’s like when “Billie Jean” comes on and you can’t help but dance and sing. Needless to say, I was banned from singing in the office. Sure, I was a little humiliated, maybe even hurt, but auditioning for American Idol or The Voice was never on my radar anyway.

Fast forward another few years, and I met my wife. She quickly agreed with Tracy and tried to ban me from singing. At first, I was not allowed to sing in the car, but then I was banned from all parts of the house except the shower, which is okay with me because that’s when my voice is the strongest anyway.

Now if you are thinking, “why is everyone so mean to Ron?” these comments were never spiteful. Sure there is a dent in my pride, but hey, I have other skills. My wife cannot juggle or whistle, so I’ll always have that.

But I’m afraid there is now another person who fears my singing. He’s my 2.5-year-old son. Although I sing to Henry all the time, and will never stop, he will eventually ban me from singing. It will not be today, or tomorrow, but soon it will happen. He’s already alluded to it, and that’s why I’m thankful for my wife.

Aside from taking care of our son with love and care, supplying him with food for 14 months and being his sole parent on Saturdays, she can not only carry a tune, but she also remembers the correct words. Recently, I put Henry to bed and he was disappointed and slightly offended by my version of “Let it Go” from Disney’s new powerhouse movie “Frozen.” He refused to go to sleep until someone sang it correctly, and with soul. In comes his mom. Tired, not feeling well, but still a mom, she belted out “Let it Go” with love while cradling Henry. He had a huge smile on his face. I further punished myself by asking, “Who sang it better?” Without any hesitation, he declared, “MOMMY!”

Thank you Henry’s mom! Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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