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