Isn’t she lovely …

Published 8:39 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My Monday could have had a soundtrack running through it. Some days are like that, so memorable and weighty you can almost hear melodies crescendo along their timelines.

The songs would have started before daylight. As my alarm went off, Max Steiner’s sweeping “Gone with the Wind” score should have been playing, “Da, dah, da-dah. Da, dah, da-dah . . .”

That, of course, would have been overlaid with a different type of audio – Melanie Wilkes’ lines: “Oh, yes, Mammy. The happiest days are when babies come.”

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Oh, Melanie, I couldn’t agree more. The birth day party we were heading towards was way north in Memphis, so we proceeded on schedule through morning traffic along I-55. Somewhere along that weary stretch, jazz man extraordinaire Louis Armstrong whispered in my ear, reminding me of all the good life holds.

“I see trees of green, red roses too.

I see them bloom for me and you.

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world.”

Later, in a hospital waiting room, we passed the hours with antsy granddarlings to the tune of “Baby Shark.” For those of you out of the loop on this kiddie standard, the lyrics themselves are pretty straightforward. Repeat the words “baby” and “shark” over and over until either you or the child gets into a hypnotic trance. At that point you start the song again with a slight word change – “daddy” and “shark.” Then “momma” and “shark.” Then “grandma” and . . . Well, you get the idea.

The music session with the grands was going great until a lady from behind the desk in the lobby came upstairs and interrupted us with a question: “This stuffed animal belong to any of you?”

(I wonder how she guessed.)

The thing was dripping wet, and you can be certain it did belong to one of us. It was Skye, flying wonder pup of the Paw Patrol crew. She was greeted with significant excitement, thus putting an end to the incessant “Baby Shark” rounds. Yay. How Skye landed in the fountain at the entrance of Baptist Memorial Hospital, though, we may never know. At least the diligence of a Good Samaritan meant Skye was back where she and her aeronautical outfit belonged.

Time pressed on and around noon, a Carly Simon single from 1971 made the soundtrack cut. You might remember it best from the ketchup commercial.

“Anticipation, anticipation . . . is keeping me w-a-i-t-i-n-g.”      

But not for long. That daughter-in-law of ours is good at the delivery business. I don’t know if there was music playing in her labor suite or not, but I wanted to turn it up loud when the big reveal came over the wires. Yep, I wanted the whole world to sing along with me and Stevie.

Isn’t she lovely . . .

Isn’t she wonderful . . .

Isn’t she precious . . .

Less than one minute old . . .

Actually, I had the 1976 hit pulled up on YouTube when the whole family crowded around to meet our 8-pound, 4-ounce wonder, but Daughter No. 2 gave me “the look,” so I didn’t push play. Even so, it takes more than a look to silence the music of the mind.

And at the end of the day, as we rolled toward home, my soundtrack bookended with a return to Armstrong’s meandering lyrics.

“I hear babies cry, I watch them grow.

They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself

What a wonderful world.”

Welcome to a wonderful world, little Elise. Welcome to a wonderful world.

Kim Henderson is a freelance writer. Contact her at