From Upstairs

I sat in my glider to feed the Hummingbird.

The MonkeyFish was pants-less on the floor, playing with his trains. I was gratified to see that the track I built for him this morning was still intact; signs that both he and his dad found it worthy of an afternoon's play. The apprentice is learning! You should have seen my early attempts. Even I was embarrassed, and I'm just a girl.

Sounds from Lizzie's room wafted down the stairs. A soulful alto lilting to an aching tune I didn't recognize.

It was beautiful.

It pulled Wyatt from his train trance and he sat on the bottom step, staring up the stairs and fidgeting - climbing a step, sliding down, climbing, sliding - uncertain if he was allowed to venture upstairs and explore the beckoning sounds that tried all the self-control his little body contained.

As he listened, he tried his best to express to me beneath his breath the longing he felt to be nearer the sound.

"Song, mom" he whispered. Up a step. "It's a song." Squatting on the step, pointing and wiggling with wanting to climb. "Song upstairs" the honest desire in his eyes punctuating every word.

Lizzie - who's ears have become attune to this boy's voice: loud, soft and all the magnificent range of emotion it contains - appeared at the top of the stairs.

Wyatt's eyes froze on hers with an unspoken plea that she answered - of course she answered! - and she said, "Do you want to come up?"

Wyatt bolted up the stairs with exclamations of joy, and I sat in my chair with Daphne and listened head-cocked as one of the Music Masters introduced my boy to selections by David Bowie, Animal Collective, Johnny Cash, Talking Heads.

Listening to those two talk about music - and then whatever - was music to me in its own right.

Oh, heart! How I am going to miss her when she goes.

Portugal - you have no idea.


Grandpa Rusty said...

How lucky you all are to have Lizzie there for even this short time. Memories are being made that otherwise would only have been fond wishes from afar.