When my girls were little and I taught them at home, we began our days with a read-aloud, snuggled together on the couch. We read our way through such amazing stories as The Wind in the Willows, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and many others. After reading, we would work at the table or computer on various other subjects, and we found ourselves with time most afternoons for special activities. At one point, we had a theme for each day of the week: Music Mondays, Teatime Tuesdays (which included art study and a tea party), Walking Wednesdays (for nature walks), Thoughtful Thursdays (for reading, memorization and recitation of poetry), and Feasting Fridays (where the kids would cook a healthy lunch or treat.)
This afternoon after Tanka and I returned from my volunteer hours at the elementary library and his hours at Preschool, I realized that he is missing out on those special afternoon hours with Mom. I decided we would have a Music Monday for two.
In our living room is the piano that I learned to play on when I was six. It looks like it has been through about 8 children with sticky fingers and a lot of enthusiasm - and it has. Despite that, it can still fill the house with (slightly off-tune) music. I pulled out a big yellow songbook of children's music and played a few sweet songs from some old Muppet productions (It's Not that Easy Being Green and No-one Like You) but the song that captured Tanka's imagination was Puff the Magic Dragon.
He probably has not heard that since we was a tiny baby in my arms. That was one of the many songs I would sing to my children on nights when they could not sleep (which for 3 of them was almost every night) as we rocked in the rocking chair that Limerick bought for me when we were expecting Senryu. He held very still and listened this afternoon as I played the piano and played that old favorite from my own childhood. Afterward, he played one of his own compositions. Being 4 and what many call "All Boy," his song went something like this, "Ninja, ninja, ninja song. Ninja. ninja, ninja song."
Later, while I mixed dough for a batch of sugar cookies, Tanka asked me to sing "that funny Dragon Song again.' So we sang about Jackie Paper and Puff, about "strings and ceiling wax and other fancy stuff" while the mixer turned, and while I washed dishes, and while we drove to the bus stop to pick up his sister. I don't think I'll hear that song again without thinking of our little Sing Along for Two.
photo by Aisling