My father always promised us
That we would live in France
We'd go boating on the Seine
And I would learn to dance
We lived in Ohio then
He worked in the mines
On his dreams like boats
We knew we would sail in time...
- Judy Collins, My Father
Promises and dreams.
Last night, my son performed in his first band concert. Sixth grade. Trumpet. He and his compadres did a great job. Well, the percussion section had a tendency to rush things, but such are the ways of drummers. I watched as awkward hands and fingers on the end of awkward arms concentrated as if our country's welfare depended on them. Right feet kept time with the conductor's baton. The sixth graders played Fly's in the Buttermilk and Frere Jacques. The seventh graders played Another One Bites the Dust. And the eighth graders played Barber's Adagio. My lord.
I bent down yesterday morning to give my youngest daughter a goodbye kiss. She was still somewhat asleep, I had to go. I kissed her forehead and sleepy eyes opened. As she reached up to kiss my nose, as is her custom, she kissed me on the lips, as is not her custom. Her eyes grew wide as saucers and a smile broke her face. Well, shucks, little lady. That's right generous of you. Her saucered eyes rolled at the old man, the smile still firmly in place. Bye, Dada.
I listened last night as my middle daughter announced over spaghetti and french bread I've no homework! She declared this as her mother's earrings dangled from her ears, silver hoops. I'm not too fond of these silver hoops, as they make my sunshine look a little too grown up, kinda like that girl from Footloose. You know, the preacher's daughter? But my middle daughter wants to be seen, noticed. Little does she know that you almost cannot help seeing her, such is her beauty; she is like elf-light. Last night, at the band concert, she kept asking if we could move up closer to the front, so we could see. She was constantly bobbing up and down, like Zacchaeus, trying to see. And be seen. There were no sycamores in the middle school auditorium, just old knotty pines like me. She leaned in and put her head, earrings and all, on my shoulder.
I wonder if my children know the extent, the blessed depth, of my promises and dreams for them?
Skip to my lou, my darlings...