We had a great weekend, partly due to a financial snag smoothing itself out thanks to HRH’s willingness to do some freelance reno work over the his vacation. It’s astonishing how much better we feel with bills paid and a full pantry.

We also joined the other local coven of our tradition in a Solstice celebration. True to our experience of the gods loving irony, it started to rain as soon as the celebrant invoked the Sun God. Fortunately, we’d gone out that morning and bought a 9’x9′ awning for the back porch, something we’ve wanted to do for a while, so we all sat there and did the ritual anyway. And when it was over and the celebrant spoke a thank you for the Sun God’s presence, the rain stopped and the sun came out. It’s a good thing our trad formally recognises laughter in circle. Then we all had an excellent, excellent barbecue, and I had the great satisfaction of making a salad with ingredients mainly pulled from the garden. The boy woke up from his nap and joined us for the last half-hour, munching happily on hot dogs and showing off his new Wall*E figure.

When everyone had gone home and the boy decided to go inside to play, I asked him if he wanted to watch a new movie and he was very interested. So I put my new The Sound of Music DVD on (hurrah for gift cards), and he watched attentively through the opening scenery shots, whispering, “Do you hear that?” when the wind picked up. He was entranced by the swell of music and Maria running through the grass. “She is happy!” he said. “She is running, and singing!” And he kept watching, asking questions now and again, and I’d explain what people were doing. (Upon seeing the nuns in church, he whispered, “Do they talk?”. “Not in church,” I whispered back. “They do talk!” he said, beaming, when the scene in the courtyard started.) Once in a while his attention would wander during longer stretches of dialogue and he’d start playing with his trains or Wall*E, but whenever someone began to sing his eyes would snap back to the screen and he would be still. After the “Do-Re-Mi” sequence (also riveting for him, partially due to the children, partially due to the music, and partially due to the many different architectural and decorative details in Salzburg) I thought I heard him humming ascending three-note phrases while he played but I dismissed it.

Then we reached “The Lonely Goatherd” sequence and as the opening music played I said, “Liam, I think you may recognise this.” He’d already recognised it on the CD earlier in the week. And when Julie Andrews began singing he said with great delight, “This is the Muppets song!” (Episode 217, of course, is where he first encountered Andrews and this particular song. I love the Muppets in general, but the delicious irony of having Andrews sing “The Lonely Goatherd” with a bunch of puppets is positively exquisite.)

He sat in front of the screen and watched raptly. When the sequence was over he said, “Can we watch it again?” So we did. And a third time, too. He mumbled something under his breath at one point, but we didn’t catch it. It wasn’t until we said that we really needed to watch the next song that he let the film continue. He watched “Edelweiss,” which wasn’t as visually fascinating but nonetheless familiar to him, being one of the lullabies I used to sing to him when he was very small, and then started playing with his Wall*E again, moving it along the back of the chesterfield.

And then we heard it clearly: he was singing “oh-de-lay-lee, oh-de-lay-lee, oh-de-lay-lee-ooh,” and making Wall*E dance.

I looked at HRH, and HRH looked at me: we both had idiotic smiles on our faces, trying not to laugh. “Your heart must be ready to burst out of your chest,” said HRH, “judging by what mine’s doing.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said.

“You’re so blogging this, aren’t you,” he said.

“With great delight,” I said.

We also heard him do a rough approximation of the beginning of “Edelweiss” too before the ballroom scene, by which point he was on HRH’s lap. “I need my cello!” he exclaimed upon seeing the chamber orchestra, so I got it for him and he played it (matching the rhythm quite well, too) before he strummed the lowest string so enthusiastically that it slipped off the bridge, so I put it away.

And, irony of ironies, I stopped the film at the wedding because it was past his bedtime.

I wonder how long it will be before he asks to watch it again.

One thought on “Indoctrination

  1. paze

    Glad to hear Liam likes the movie. That’s so cute about the singing.

    Isn’t it funny how many parents through the years have shielded their kids from the las part of that film? My mother did the exact same thing with me; I remember being shocked to learn, at around the age of ten or so, that there was a whole other part of the movie I had never seen!

    Happy Summer!


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