My sister is having her first baby next month. It's quite the topic of interest and discussion and, well, obsessive anticipation among my family members, who will become aunties and grammies and grandpas for the first time, too. In other words, we can't shut up about it -- and that includes copious discussion about the perfect music for all stages of the affair. My dad already learned and performed on his guitar Loudon Wainwright's snarky-sweet "Careful, There's a Baby in the House" at Thanksgiving. Then there was the disco-themed "Love to Love You, Baby" shower my younger sister and I threw for the new parents.
And now, with only a few weeks to go, my sister has begun to really home in on the fact that this tiny new person will be here before we know it; more specifically, she's thinking a lot about precisely how the baby will be arriving. Naturally, I've taken her worries and hopes, excitement and concern as an implicit request for -- what else? -- the perfect soundtrack for the delivery room. My little sister is about to experience this somewhat terrifying, fairly excruciating, utterly amazing thing, and I can't really do much to make it easier or calmer or less scary for her. So I did the only thing I could think of (yes, this is much more helpful than, say, putting together the crib or something): I made her a playlist of songs that I hope will provide her with what she needs in the various stages of bringing new life into the world.
The songs here are designed to soothe her and provided necessary adrenalin rushes. I've added tracks I hope will give her courage at some moments and make her laugh through the pain at others. Songs that are meant to comfort her with her own musical happy places (grrrl punk and '90s hip-hop, specifically) and serve as musical reminders of the presence of her Arab-American husband. Songs that remind her of how she got here (oh, but oh-oh, those "Summer Nights") -- and what she "wins" when she completes her incredible feat. I wanted this playlist to rise and flow with the rhythm of new life, but most of all, I hope it will speak to how excited and proud of my sister this new auntie is.