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January 7, 2012

Nice to have a “normal” week behind me.  As I said, I don’t know what normal is anymore, but at the very least the past 4 days of Alex and Drew both back at school, our home has settled back into a reasonable–even typical rhythm.  I’ll take it.

Again it’s the weekend.  Saturday, specifically.  Which means my buddy Gary and his two kids Connor and Audrey are home with us.  It usually works to everyone’s advantage having a warm, cozy home abuzz with the sound of our minions giggling and playing together.  Even Alex was mostly present.  Only once, when he decided to strip himself naked, did he disappear from the rabble for more than a few moments.

This proclivity to doff his knickers is actually likely explained by evidence that Alex is quite fond of tactile stimulation.  He loves the feel of his fuzzy blanket next to his skin, he loves the incongruous shock of steamy hot showers and bitter cold winter wind, he loves the gentle tickles Kat and I take joy in administering to his neck/collarbone junction.  This causes a ripe, juicy cackle to drip from his smiling pink lips in luscious tones.  Plus, he’s got the smoothest skin this side of a puppy’s tummy.  Let him run around the house Commando style.  He’s proud of his Ding A Ling.  (Who isn’t?)

Usually Saturdays can be a wildcard for Alex.  No school, of course.  And today, no one-on-one therapist.  How’d he do?

Actually, pretty good.  It was a gorgeous, totally atypical winter weather day here.  42˚F and crystal clear, with light winds.  I took him for a long stroller walk.  Then a trip to IKEA to buy Drew’s new bed.  Then another stroller walk.  Sadly, Alex kicked off one of his slip on Crocs as we walked.  And I never saw it.  Never found it, either.  Hrrumph.

So that necessitated another car ride, this time for inexpensive replacement footwear.  Alex was just happy to tag along, having no qualms at all accompanying me through our local Target.

For the most part, that was our lazy day.

After dinner, Alex typically goes through an evening ritual of plying me with a small 2″ x 2″ photo of my acoustic guitar–my signal from him that he wants me to regale him with a musical selection of my choice strummed passionately on my 6 string–and with me singing.  Usually I’m fine with that.

I am hardly a virtuoso on the guitar, but I really do enjoy playing.  It takes me back to when I was in high school and college when I played in a garage rock band.  We were The Subjects.  (oooh, cool right?  stop laughing.  it wasn’t my choice.)  Actually I was the bass player, my chosen instrument.  (Damn that was fun.  Another story, too.)

So tonight, Alex hands me the picture of the guitar…  I strap it on, play a few favorites of his–“Ladybug Picnic” from Sesame Street, A-N-D-R-E-W (about his brother, sung to the music of “G-L-O-R-I-A” by Van Morrison), “We’re Gonna Be Friends” by the White Stripes and even “Twinkle Twinkle”.  Usually that’s about it, but tonight was different.

Tonight, Alex took my right index finger and pulled it, leading me to his room.  He plopped on his bed and sat up looking at me, as if to say “Play some more, daddy”.  So I did.  A couple more, different ones, plus a few from above.  With each song’s conclusion, Alex’s eyelids would get progressively heavier.  And just as I was finishing singing “The Long Cut” by Uncle Tupelo, Alex closed his eyes for the night.

It brings me such joy and satisfaction knowing that even my pathetically mediocre playing ability can still make him happy and, at bedtime–drowsy.  It’s a good song to end the night with.  It’s hopeful.

“I’ve been searching.  You’ve been gone.

Been looking for the shortest path

to the one that you were on.

And I’ve already seen all I want to see.

C’mon, let’s take the long cut.

We’ll get there eventually.”

  1. Brian permalink

    Two thumbs, way up.

    Cole used to fall asleep to my best shots at Peter, Paul and Mary on the acoustic. I will never feel the same as watching him fall asleep to my hundredth telling of the boy who outgrows the dragon and no longer comes to play along that cherry lane…..

  2. Great song. Keep playing, sooth those wild beasts. 🙂

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