The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

I’ve got Peace like a River in my Soul

The day was sunny and warm.  I was productive in getting the house clean, running errands, dinner was going and I was on my way to pick up the kids.  The children walked out of school five minutes after the bell, as scheduled.  “How was your day?” I asked.

“Good”, says the Girl.

“Good”, says Apprentice, “do I have skating today?”

“No, not today.”  I turn to Mid.  “How was your day?”

“Better than yesterday.  What’s for dinner?”

These are the customary responses I have become accustomed to hearing every afternoon.  We load into the mom-mobile (aka Sarah Siena) and head for home.

I hear quiet singing from the backseat.  Is it possible?  Could it be?  My children are quietly singing Kum Ba Yah.  Voluntarily. I get the feeling the temperature in Hades may have dropped a bit.  And then I start congratulating myself on what a great parent I have become.  I wonder how many other children are singing so peacefully on their way home from school.  Not many, I bet.  Supernanny has NOTHING on me.  I am deep into my acceptance speech for Mother of the Year when…  what?  Mid breaks into a rap worthy of Snoop Dogg or 50Cent on the MTV Music Video Awards, along with appropriate upper body motions…  

“I’ve got peace like a rivaahhh, PEACE like a rivaahh, puh-puh-peace like a rivaahh in my s-s-s-sa-sa-sa-soul!”

“Word”, says the Girl.

What the WHAT?  Have my peaceful-kum-ba-yah-singing cherubs turned a beloved song into a cover for Eminem?  I have a moment of angst.  Do I cease this massacre of a beloved song?  Or, just go with it and encourage the creativity?

The German in me wants the song sung as written and intended.  There is another voice, though, from parenting books and my more open-minded friends telling me to just go with it.  So I do.

I ask who taught them this new way to sing the song.  Response?  “I made it up.  I like it better.”  This cracks me up.  We arrived home, rocking out to the new version of many a church hymn.  All three kids and I rapped through final dinner preparations about the peace in our souls.  We danced around and laughed while adding other verses. 

Kum ba yah-yah-yah my Lord, kum ba yah. You hear me Lord? Kum ba yah, baby!

JB came home to a lot of (joyful) noise.  The kids greet him with their new arrangement.  He looks at me, smiling and bewildered.  I shrug and smile.  There is indeed peace like a river in my soul.



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