Fiddling Around

It’s been a fine weekend here at the Hillhouse. On Friday we enjoyed a visit from the girl twins with whom Elihu had grown so close months ago. Their moving away this past fall broke Elihu’s heart (see the post “Heartsick” from November 2012) and being able to spend an afternoon with them gave my son joy as he hadn’t known in a good long while. The following day we were still coasting on that great feeling, and we celebrated with a bountiful breakfast of fruit-filled crepes, oh-so-good bacon, and deviled eggs. Elihu requested the deviled eggs, and in that we have no shortage of eggs around here, and no one to justify it to, I made a good dozen of em. (Strangely, my Atkins diet even allowed me to enjoy some, albeit in moderation). We were both enormously contented and sated after our decadent brunch. So I began the clean-up with a happy and light heart, as Elihu retired to the living room and began to play his violin.

Usually, Elihu will choose to play his recorder when he’s in the mood for something aside from the piano or the drums. And he’s actually gotten quite good at it; he can play chromatically as well as play a handful of different scales. He began to learn the chromatic stuff in an effort to duplicate a blues scale. It was a good motivation; now he’s off and running. He hasn’t played the violin so much lately, so this is nice. I hear him go through his modest beginner’s repertoire; just a bit beyond Twinkle Twinkle, he’s off into the territory of Cripple Creek and Old Joe Clark. (I smile to myself as I recall my brief stint with banjo lessons years ago. I remember learning the iconic Boil Them Cabbage Down – as taught by the equally iconic Bob Gand at the Village Music Store in Deerfield, Illinois). What a sweet time this is, I think to myself. I know my son is growing up, but I also know he’s still a young boy. Sometimes he’s so smart, insightful and articulate that it’s often a bit difficult to realize that he is still so young. But he is still little. Still not ten. Still believes… And while the world is becoming more real to him each day, there is still some magic present in his experience which only belongs to the very young. He’s not quite there, but change is underway. This too will be a memory before long. I try to focus on this moment. I breathe in, I pause, I try to suspend time as best I can…

As I stood at the sink, my hands in the warm, soapy water, I looked out over the lovely pastoral view outside my window. I listened to Elihu making up sweet little variations on his violin, and I sank as deeply into the moment as I could. We were two happy people with nothing much to do, except just to be… A perfect day just to fiddle around.

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