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you are not there

We are taking the little one for a ride on her new sled. It is bright orange, with a fuzzy black and white seat cover to keep her extra warm. Her tiny hands in tiny gloves hold the sides as tight as she can. I pull her down a path, shouting "woohooo" and then she replies "woohoo". N's turn is next, pulling her more schoolgirl than mother for a few minutes. There are other parents with children on sleds passing us. Their eyes straight forward, faces completely blank they slip by in silence. I flash a smile to them, and they do not even look at me. I am not there, just another tree leaning towards the stream that runs below.

There are ducks still, flapping around the brackish water and we throw pieces of stale bread to them. I start to think, not about the complete absence of smiles in this culture. I stopped asking about that long ago, told over and again that smiles are reserved for home, behind closed doors. But I wonder, for the children -  these wiggling bu…

Danny Boy - an Irish Song

She picks it, out of thin air. A laugh jumps out of my mouth and I am looking for chord charts. It is in a number of keys. The little guitar is in my lap, my elbows twisting around. She is next to me, leaning against my shoulder.
"There is a second verse." She says.
We try it in C but it is too high.
I go for the Johnny Cash version next.
It fits.
Then, mid-word she grows quiet. I point at the place, thinking she just got lost.
She is crying, her face folding in on herself the way it does.
I hold her, we talk quietly. She whispers to me, says the song is too sad. I make jokes, change the words to "Oh Beasty Boy" then put it all in Brooklyn where lots of words change to "mustard" and "bridge".
We let it go.

The next day she says she can do it, over a bowl of cereal.







Comments

liv said…
Start the parade, indeed!

Bravo, Brava!

These little videos are enchanting. Next, Eva's rendition of Pharrell Williams "Happy"....with dancing!!

Thank you so much for such joy on a Monday morning.
Uncle Al said…
a Heart felt treasure of Father & Daughter sharing this song of sadness. Open & honest as only home video can be!
Rubye Jack said…
Oh my gosh, this is so touching and beautiful.

Not sure how I found your site but am glad I did.
Leilani Warden said…
Very sweet. I once lived in Russia (Moscow) and feel many same thoughts as you. Made wonderful friends there but am glad and fortunate to be back home. Thank you for sharing your writing and photographs.
Mrs. Munchkin said…
I really enjoyed this....to see your interaction and love is priceless!

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