Friday, October 25, 2013

Singing from the heart

Wednesday we picked up the kids after school and brought them to our house for an hour of play until their Daddy could come get them.

For most of that time, Augie played with his beloved Lego fire department.

Then he wandered over to the guitar and began to strum. And to sing a song he seemed to be making up on the spot. It went something like this:

Daddy and I have a lot in common.
We love games - board and video.
We love books - comic and chapter.
We love to go to Fort Snelling.
[then a few more things, and then]
Daddy I aDORE you
I'll always be there FOR you.

Our first thought: How sweet for this little boy to make up a song to express his love for Daddy. Our second thought: What a clever use of language. The parallel construction in those lines about games and books seems pretty sophisticated. And the last two lines make your heart melt. As we praised the song, he told us he borrowed the last lines from Phineas and Ferb, an animated series the kids watch. Great choice, we said.

We said Augie should sing the song to his dad. Immediately he wanted to orchestrate it. He would play the drums, Peter should play guitar, Vi and I would pick up other instruments. We countered that this should be a "quiet song," without the big drum kit. But Augie was busy trying to teach Peter, and then Vi, how to play guitar accompaniment: "You strum the lower notes fast, like this, and then two high notes slow." I realized later the two high notes were for the words adore and for. I should note that the guitar is untuned and missing a string so all its music is, shall we say, approximate. Augie began conducting us, using all the techniques he's picked up from his music teacher.

As this was going on, Eric (also known as Daddy) came in. We called him to the living room and had him sit on the couch. Augie suddenly wasn't talking, so I said, "Daddy, Augie has a special song for you."

At that Augie said, "I get a little queasy singing for everybody. I want this to be one-to-one, me and Dad." Peter and I quickly went to the kitchen, out of view but not out of earshot.

Accompanying himself on guitar, Augie sang the song just like he had the first time. As he sang, he kept moving a little closer until he was maybe four feet in front of his one-man audience. He kept his eyes on his dad and never noticed that now we could see him from the kitchen. It was the sweetest thing. It will be in my memory forever. I know it will live in his dad's heart, too. Plus Eric captured it on his iPhone, so he can watch and listen any time he wants.

Peter and I have both been saying that Augie has music in him. We've shown him that there are ways to make exactly the notes you want, and ways to write down the notes you want, and we've said we'll help him with that whenever he's ready. So far he's happy just to sing and play from the heart. And really, what more could you want?

Augie and Daddy at Star Lake this summer


Teresa Evangeline said...

This is wonderful. He is a blessed little boy to have such encouragement of his gifts.

Jeanie said...

It sounds like he has quite a talent that deserves to be nurtured and he is lucky to have you to help him learn. What a special gift he gave his dad with that song.

Pauline Persing said...

What a lovely memory for all of you.

Red Shoes said...

Now THAT is just down right adorable!!!

I LOVE it!!!


Jeanie said...

This is the most enchanting post. I would have been peeking too -- and if I was Eric, I would have been in tears. He has a bit of the Sondheim in him, another master of the internal rhyme!

stephen Hayes said...

Darn it; I'm getting misty reading this. Such a sweet moment.

DJan said...

To have someone tell you when you're small that "you have music in you" is just one of the best things ever! Wish someone could have told me that. :-)

Unknown said...

What a wonderful gift for him to give!

Far Side of Fifty said...

How wonderful, I bet a few tears flowed too! :)

Jenny said...

So sweet he is in your life. Cherish that. I hope you aremaking books of your blog to keep the memories. See Jenny Schouten Short on Blurb for my blog books. I've made over 35 in the past five years and love reading them over and over. xo Jenny

Grandmother Mary said...

I agree with you on Augie's sophisticated use of language and the melt your heart ending! May he always make music from the heart. He and Vi may like the anthology of poems for kids compiled by Caroline Kennedy to further their love of language.

May Ann Doña Francisco said...

Nice one!

joeh said...

Give him the tools, the opportunity and the encouragement and if he has talent it will shine. If he doesn't have talent he will have the gift of appreciation.

Wonderful post! said...

How lovely! A song from the heart is priceless!

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Ah... I love impromptu concerts. My daughters used to do nightly concerts for my husband and me. I hadn't thought about those in a long time. Thank you for sparking that memory... and for making me smile at the antics of your musical family.

troutbirder said...

Absolutely wonderful. Musical and poetic talent in grandchild. It doesn't get any better than that... :)

AiringMyLaundry said...

Aw, so sweet!!!

Maria said...

It´s a lovely post.In the future, maybe Augie,becomes a great singer, who knows!
Thanks for your visite. It was a very kind of you.


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