At the grocery store, I dial his cell phone. It goes to voice mail.
“Hey. I have two vitally important questions, so call me ay-sap.”
We’re unloading the cart onto the conveyor belt when he calls back. “What’s up?”
“OK, first: what was I supposed to buy at the store?”
“Sugar. Tea. Um, bananas?”
“Got them. Good. OK, the other question was way more important. What’s the Elvis song that goes ‘A little more satisfaction, a little more nananana…’?”
I know I’m getting the words wrong, so I have to sing it. The man in line behind me grins, and the checkout lady cuts a glance at the bagger. An Elvis impersonator I am not. But sometimes you have to humble yourself in the quest for knowledge.
Scott is laughing. “A little less conversation, a little more action.”
“RIGHT! Yes. That’s it. Thank you.”
“It came on while I was shopping and I needed to remember the words.” We’d been in the dairy aisle, the boy, the baby, and I, and I couldn’t help it, started dancing, which the boy can’t stand. Mom, tease top! Please stop! He hates when I sing, too, which is a huge joke on me. I used to think I would sing to my babies and they would gaze lovingly into my eyes, smitten, enchanted. But none of the first three seemed particularly interested in my tender melodies, or else they cried. I’m not that bad, I swear, except for my Elvis. Then along came my little boy, the fragile infant I sang to for hours in the NICU because what else could we do? In his early months at home, I thrilled at the way he stared raptly into my eyes as I sang, his bitty face full of all the wonder I’d imagined my babies would feel at the sound of mother’s crooning.
Then we found out he was hard of hearing. My softly crooned melodies? He couldn’t hear them.
The wonder I saw in his eyes was probably “I wonder why she keeps moving her mouth like that?”
Ever since he got the hearing aids, he begs me to stop singing before I’ve hit the third note.
I still sing, I can’t help it, I sing over dishes and vacuuming and in the shower and in the car. And sometimes I have to dance a little in the dairy aisle because that song, it gets inside the marrow of you and makes your heart pump faster.
When I got home, Scott had a link waiting for me. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. You can bet my son didn’t beg the King to tease top.
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I Am So Brilliant!
Elephant: the Sequel