May 04, 2012

All of us under its spell

Soon Boy-in-Black and Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter will be moving back home for the summer. The house will be full. Smiley Girl will be here live here part of the time, Sailor Boy will come for a few visits, Film Guy will be in town, and other extras will drift in, home from college. By this time next week, we'll have laptop computers on every table, cups on every window sill, and Ultimate jerseys hanging from the curtain rods to dry.

But tonight, it’s just With-a-Why and me. I drove him to a statewide music competition this afternoon — he sang a solo — and now he’s relaxing on the couch, doing something on his laptop. Shaggy Hair Boy has gone off on a camping expedition with Smiley Girl and some friends. My husband is texting me from the hospital, where he is spending time with his mother. She’s got a broken hip, advanced Parkinson’s, and a host of other problems. He’s been working on arrangements to transfer her to a nursing home near us, and he updates me with the details via cell phone.

A crystal hanging in the window makes rainbows on the ceiling. I’m sitting at the piano, working on the song I’m learning. I stop playing to read the latest texts about my mother-in-law and then sit staring at my cell phone for a few minutes before sending a reply.

In the silence, With-a-Why looks up from his computer. Without hesitation, he begins singing the song that I’ve been trying to play on the piano. He knows the words: it’s a song he likes, although he favors the Peter Cincotti version over the Kermit the Frog version.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows 
And what's on the other side? 
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions 
And rainbows have nothing to hide 
So we've been told and some choose to believe it 
I know they're wrong, wait and see 
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection 
The lovers, the dreamers and me 

 What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing 
And what do we think we might see? 
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection 
The lovers, the dreamers and me 

 I sit on the piano bench, listening, while his strong, seventeen-year-old voice continues.

 All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic 

 Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices? 
I've heard them calling my name 
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors 
The voice might be one and the same 
I've heard it too many times to ignore it 
It's something that I'm supposed to be 
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection 
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

When he finishes, we smile at each other. He looks back down at his computer. And I turn back to the piano.


Bibliomama said...

Nice. I'm going to see if my recorder-savant daughter wants to learn this next.

AnnetteK said...

Holy blindside with the one song that always makes me bawl. Dang!

susan said...

I love that song, and love the image of you and With-A-Why in the living room with it. Enjoy the quiet before all the action revs up again. And I hope your MIL gets settled well soon.

kathy a. said...

very sweet. sending lots of love about your MIL.

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

I didn't know that anyone but Kermit sang that!

Lilian said...

awww... I don't know the song (which would have made my appreciation of the post so much more meaningful), but it's just one more of those "Jo(e) Moments" that we all love and envy in that "I-want-to-be-you-when-I-grow-up" kind of way! ;)

kim wells said...

I have always loved that song. I sing it to my kiddos regularly when they need a lullaby, too. :)

Anonymous said...

I love that song, too. I heard the campanile playing it here as I walked home one night -- took a minute to recognize it.

Utterkelp said...

I sang that song in 5th grade and have never even considered anyone else but the green frog singing it! It's part of my childhood culture. By the way, I'm working on Hedwig's theme right now, taking up piano again after 25yrs. I think it's your influence! Happy Mother's Day!

BrightenedBoy said...

This is beautiful. I wish you could post audio of him singing!