(one of my favorite pictures, ever)
I really only listen to music when I’m driving. And I tend to listen to the same song over and over again. I know, normal! On any given day a different song is preoccupying me. Coldplay’s Fix You, U2’s Kite, and Matt Nathanson’s Come On Get Higher have all played on repeat in my car (and in my head). A few years ago, December 2004 specifically, it was Shawn Colvin singing Love Came Down at Christmas. I remember it vividly. It was freezing, I had a two year old toddler, and I was pregnant with Whit.
The song is on my very favorite Christmas CD, which I listen to all year round but constantly during this month. Last Friday the familiar notes of Love Came Down at Christmas came on as Grace, Whit, and I were driving to school.
“Whit,” I said, turning around to look at him, wearing his new wool hat with robots on it. “I listened to this song over and over and over again when you were in my tummy.”
“I remember that,” Grace chimed in authoritatively, though I’m certain she does not. He smiled. Both kids, for some reason, love stories of when I was pregnant with them and of when they were babies.
“You used to kick whenever it came on,” I mused, remembering the feeling of feet in my ribs, the eerie, powerful sensation of another person turning over inside of me. The kind of feeling you couldn’t imagine until you experience it. And one that fades; I can hardly remember that sensation any more, so unique in its joint visceral physicality and overpowering spirituality.
“Maybe I was trying to be the drums,” Whit offered casually from the backseat.
Oh, Whit. Yes. You are the drumbeat of my life, steady, underlying everything, a constant presence. Your humor and stubbornness, intractability and lovingness twine together into the rhythm to which my life is set.
Grace, you are the soaring descant. Sometimes your notes are there, lifting me to the rafters with their beauty, sometimes not, their absence as keenly felt as their presence. A sound less steady, higher at its highs and lower at its lows.
Together you two are creating every day the music of my life. The song that I, who is tone deaf and woefully unskilled at all things musical, hear in my head every single hour. The tune to which I walk, stumble, and dance.