Merrie melodies


Fraulein Maria brought back music to the empty halls of the von Trapp mansion.

Consciously or not, I’m driving it out.

I have acquired a love-hate relationship with music. For example, I love listening to it. Actually, I used to love listening to it. The road trip from Alaska to Louisiana– during which we scaled steep mountain grades to the neverending blare of the three dratted Disney CDs that should have been thrown onto a glacier after day one– pretty much killed my interest in driving music.

The other day, the Maiden suggested that I put on some “Mommy music” in the car. A nice gesture, but I had to break it to her gently that Mommy’s favorite music is called “quiet”.

She didn’t believe she knew that one.

Oh, I’ve tried.  For example, I used to love holiday music, and this past November, I got all excited and bought a CD of classics.  But before I could pop it into my player, it disappeared.

Fast-forward two months.

The other day, the Maiden and her friend sneaked into my bedroom closet to steal my high heels or something, and decided to swipe the exercise ball instead.  When I confiscated the ball after its eleventh appearance on my kitchen counter, I noticed a small square item in the corner of the closet.  There, in all its shrink-wrapped glory, was my unopened Christmas classics CD, as an eternal testament to the fact that I haven’t used my exercise ball in a really, really long time.  Merry Christmas to you, too.

Yet just because Christmas is over, and the CD is conveniently put in a safe place that will be forgotten about til next January, we aren’t quite through with Christmas music yet.  The Maiden has been playing the electronic keyboard’s prerecorded “Jingle Bells” since last July, and lately she’s added “Silent Night” to the mix.  Although I shouldn’t complain, because the other day in the car I suddenly found myself belting out “O Holy Night.”

I still haven’t figured out why; it wasn’t even night, let alone holy.

Although perhaps dropping a three-time-outs-already-and-it’s-only-8-in-the-morning kid off at school can lead to a state of euphoria akin to that experienced at Christmastime.

I also used to love singing. That was before I plunged deeply in debt to that unfeeling creditor, sleep. It was also before I had singing “requirements.”

When I was pregnant with the Maiden, I had rose-colored ideas about singing my baby lullabies every night. I still do sing to her, but it’s not fun anymore.  This is due to the tyrannical Maiden’s demands that I sing a specific song in tune with the needs-a-new-battery-again-glowworm.  Since we can’t select the song, the glowworm has to drag out its other five melodies before we get to “Brahms’ Lullaby,” because for some reason the Maiden seems to have always just played the song before I come into the room.

I know it’s a stalling tactic.

Plus, I can’t even sing the lullaby itself without being interrupted with the same questions every night: “What does ‘moonlight embrace you’ mean?” “What does ‘starlight caress you’ mean?” I’ve become an expert at answering questions mid-song, while keeping in time with the glowworm despite only having the space of “may the” to make the explanation before the lyrics change to another what-does-this-mean line.

Thank goodness the glowworm’s tempo has dropped with its battery levels.  When we refit it with juice, I’m in trouble.

Someday, we will leave this house, and new people will move in.  They will listen to the echos from the bare walls and declare that it’s time to bring music back to this house.  Perhaps they will look around and wonder, where did the music go?

And I will tell them.

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