EVENT 1 - BOY
More often than not my son tries to escape his scheduled bedtime. Sometimes that means sliding out of bed and lying on the floor or hiding in the closet or standing by the door and simply shaking the doorknob furiously.
This evening we’d left the door open and, after placing him in bed, he casually stood up, walked towards the door and exited into the hallway. I believe Jade was turning on their horse-inspired music box that plays “It’s a Small World” while I was putting Quinn into her crib / box. I suddenly hear Jade say, “What are you doing?” and I look up to see Rory standing half in the shadows like a mobster. The light is sort of crossing out his face so he looks really menacing. I repeat Jade’s question since he didn’t answer, “What are you doing?”
Slowly… ever so slowly… he begins to take a few steps backwards. I slowly back away from the crib and, realizing we’re in a very delicate dance here, take my time. If I move too fast he’ll – RUN! He turns and takes off down the hall and I plunge after him. By the time I make it to the living room, he’s already on the other side. I watch him literally try to leap over the back plate on his tricycle, snag his foot on the wheel and crash down into the wooden floor, face first.
He doesn’t stop.
Without any hesitation, he immediately pops up and keeps running. By the time I hit the tricycle, he’s on the other side of the dining room. I watch him do some Spider-Man style aerobics that are nothing short of amazing. In one leap, he jumps and rolls onto the couch, stands up, pounces onto the arm of the couch and begins scrambling over dead space onto the island.
I catch him just before he tries to slide off the other side of the counter. Does he have the moves like Jagger? No. But he certainly has the moves like Steve Prefontaine.
EVENT 2 - GIRL
This evening, while Jade was encouraging Rory to pee in the toilet, Quinn and I were able to spend a small handful of moments alone in the living room. Half the lamps were on and half the lamps were off so the house had that nice orange glow to it that homes get around 8pm. My wife had picked up during the day so the floor was spotless save for a few scattered toys here and there and Nirvana’s in Utero album was gently thrumming through my computer’s tiny speakers… which really give more juice than you’d expect.
I used to listen to this album when I was going through those awkward teen angst years and it’s perhaps one of my favorite Nirvana albums with it’s weird soft grunge vibe and hard drum beats. When I first began listening to this album, I lived in my parent’s basement and was roughly 14 years old.
I begin banging out drum beats on the floor and Quinn begins to laugh. I pick her up and I cradle her in my arms like you would a baby and… she doesn’t squirm or try to escape. Instead, she just lays there and stares into my eyes and I sing to her. “Like some babies smell like butter / his smell smelled like no other / he was born scentless and senseless / he was born a scentless apprentice”
Honestly, I have no idea what these words mean but more often than not, I don’t think music is about sense or reason. It’s about something deeper and more visceral. Quinn just listens to me sing and I squeeze her against my chest as tight as I can until she wheezes. It’s one of her favorite things; being smashed, I guess you’d call it. Once I release her, she laughs and then throws her weight into me, urging me to smash her again. I wrap my arms around her and squeeeeeze.
We hang out like this for a few more minutes before Jade and Rory come back and our quiet moment is broken. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a different thing. We all lie around on the wooden floor together and laugh and talk about the day’s events and discuss music and I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be listening to this song with my grandchildren some day.