“Music and Love,” Friend, July 1994, 30–31
Every evening after dinner is over and the dishes are washed and dried, Klees and I scrub our faces, brush our teeth, and put on our pajamas. Papa sits in the rocking chair, unbuttons the top button on his shirt, and rolls up his sleeves. Mama sits on the couch, takes off her shoes, and tucks her hair behind her ears. Then we are all ready for our special time.
“What shall it be?” Papa asks.
Sunday I lifted Papa’s golden trombone from its stand and carried it over to him. Klees followed with the mute for Papa to use so that the people in the apartment below wouldn’t be disturbed. “A concert by Papa!” we announced.
Monday Klees picked up Mama’s clarinet, and we watched her open the green-gold case and assemble the shiny black pieces. “A performance by Mama,” we declared.
Tuesday I took my wooden recorder out of its cloth bag while Klees unlatched the toy box and grasped the shiny tin drum. “It’s a program by Klees and Katrina!” Papa exclaimed.
Wednesday we all played together with Papa beating time as he rocked back and forth, back and forth in his rocking chair.
“Let’s sing now,” Papa said. “Do you know this song?” and he began to hum.
“Oh, yes!” We all joined in.
“Do you know this one?” We each took a turn humming, then singing hymns and lullabies, rounds and carols.
Thursday Papa and Mama set thick music books on the heavy metal stand and played duets. I closed my eyes and saw colors swirling in my head. I got up very quietly and fetched paper and crayons, and Klees and I drew pictures of how the music made us feel.
Friday Mama sang nursery rhymes. Klees and I made the eensy weensy spider climb up Papa’s “waterspout legs.” We pretended to be blackbirds and “snipped off” Mama’s nose. We all joined hands to “Ring-Around-the-Rosy,” and we all fell down.
Saturday Papa played dance tunes, and Klees and I hopped about the room. “Let’s all dance!” Papa said. He pushed the couch and the chairs against the wall and started a record.
“This is how you do it,” he explained. He showed me how to waltz, and Mama taught Klees. We danced through the room, out into the hallway, and back.
The music on the next record was livelier.
Papa and Mama whirled round and round, faster and faster. Klees and I clapped our hands until the music stopped.
Tonight is Sunday again, and there is a special religious concert on the radio. Papa twists the knobs until the sound enters our room, loud and clear, from a faraway city. He sits in his rocking chair and rocks back and forth, back and forth. Mama lies on the couch, her head on a patchwork pillow. Klees curls up next to Mama, and I climb onto Papa’s lap. It is as if the music is being played just for us.
When our special time ends, Klees and I kiss Mama and Papa good night, say our prayers, then crawl into bed. The house is quiet, but there will be music again tomorrow. Music and love.