Liam has been sick for four or five days now, and he’s pretty fed up with it. He’s better, but cranky in general. Every once in a while he will just stop what he’s doing to just stand there and cry, and you can tell it’s the “I’m tired, and I’m tired of being sick, and I hate my teeth too just for good measure” kind of crying.
He was ricocheting around my office this morning, being magpie-like and bringing all sorts of things from different places to stack on my lap: a tablet of music manuscript paper, my Hedwig folder of random music, a small plate with an owl on it, my statue of Horus, two cassette tapes, his little Matchbox fire truck, a chopstick… anything that caught his eye. Then he started playing with the Velcro closing on the bow pocket of my cello case, so I put all my email stuff on hold and said, “Liam, I have a treat for you, but you have to go into the living room and be quiet for it.” He ran into the living room, very excited, and I pulled the viola out of my cupboard.
Now, this viola only has the top three strings, and it’s missing a soundpost, and the bow hair has pulled mostly out of the ferrule; in short, it needs work before it could ever seriously be played. But a two year old cares nothing for such things.
I set the case down on the floor of the living room and Liam crouched next to me, watching as I unlatched it and opened the lid. Right away he beamed and his hand darted out to strum the strings. I lifted it out and did a rough tuning to make sure the strings were at least in tune with each other for him (and for our benefit too). He bounced around, and we asked him to quiet down again before letting him explore it without endangering it. Then I told him to go get his little chair, but there were height issues so he sat on the ground instead, and I gave him his very own cello.
He was absolutely thrilled, and was very careful with it as he plucked with both hands while singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. The notes were nothing like the song, of course, but he knew what he was doing: he was playing music and singing along.
We let him play until he started getting too physical with it, and a little frustrated because he couldn’t make it sound the way he wanted to. Then we put it to bed in its case and said night-night to the baby cello.
I have such an awesome son.