It is 1980. I am lying on the fuzzy brown couch in our family room in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, scratching at my chicken pox crazily. My parents have just gotten a divorce, and my dad has moved out. I miss him intensely, to the point of feeling a physical pain in my chest. He doesn't live far from us, but my mom doesn't want him around much. At least that is the feeling I get. I have been on the couch for a few days, incessantly scratching my body and dousing myself with calamine lotion. Someone notices something peculiar sitting outside our front door. It has red and white stripes and it looks like a box of some sort. I take it inside to discover that it is a record player! For me! From my dad! And there is a record with it. Bullfrogs & Butterflies. Sounds strange. And then I instantly forget that I have chicken pox. The itching evaporates. This is the absolute most perfect and well-timed gift in the history of the world and in all of time. I become obsessed with my new toy. The music makes me a very happy little girl, and I proceed to play it over. And over. And over. And over. Until my mother asks me to please give her aching ears a rest.
Fast forward 28 years. My firstborn is just over a year old. He is a very sick little boy. His heart is failing. He is tired and weak and he doesn't have the energy to move. I put our Bullfrogs & Butterflies cd into the computer and crank the volume. I pick him up and dance around the room with him in my arms. We twirl and dip and dance through every song on the cd. He smiles and laughs and asks for more, more, more. Despite my aching arms, I give him more, more, more, because I want him to experience the movement he craves but that he cannot accomplish on his own. And because I love to see that beautiful face with a smile on it.
This music had healing powers for the two of us in much the same way. We still listen to it often in our house, and it never fails to make Elijah and me dance and sing and smile and giggle. Smiles aside, I have found it to be such a very fun way to teach our children about the Bible. And to lift their spirits when they are sick.