Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Great Balls of Fire!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Great Balls of Fire!

Glissando (plural: glissandi) is a musical term that refers to either a continuous sliding from one pitch to another (a "true" glissando), or an incidental scale played while moving from one melodic note to another (an "effective" glissando).

Last night I drove through a developing storm to Gramma and Boppa's to get Erik after work. The wind sounded like a freight train, and a giant, dried up ball of Russian thistle the size of a gazelle suddenly blew out of the darkness in front of my Jeep on probably a 40 mph gust. It was briefly illuminated by my headlights before it struck my grill and bounced harmlessly to the side of the road. It was awesome weather. After almost having a coronary event and then navigating through some exceptionally horrendous traffic clogging our tiny streets downtown, I was more than happy to relax a bit at my parents' house. My mother and I had just settled down in front of the evening news with wonderful little glasses of red wine when Erik decided to play the piano for us. Mom seated him on the bench at the keys, and I turned down the volume on the television to listen. Since we don't have a piano here at home, I haven't heard him play for months. The last time was quite brief, and at that time he preferred to play Jerry Lee Lewis style standing up like a little wild man. I was really moved by it this time. I suppose it was a little thing and my wacked-out hormones currently have me in a very vulnerable state emotionally, but I couldn't help but melt when he explored the keys with his amazingly strong but gentle hands. He first pressed both palms down into the white keys and put his forehead down low to the backs of his hands for a moment as the random jumble of notes faded. My mom smiled and commented, "So much emotion." After he returned to sitting upright and carefully pressed one of the black keys with a finger, his mouth opened, and he actually attempted to sing the note with my mom. I haven't seen him do this before, and I certainly haven't heard him really sing much of anything yet. He did this a couple of times. He sat at the piano much longer than I expected, and after some initial trouble successfully executed a couple of beautiful glissandi with the black keys. The whole thing was heartbreakingly sweet to me for some reason.

As I mentioned before, we don't know what the future will hold for him in terms of music. WS does not guarantee innate musical ability, although it does usually bring a great appreciation for music and in some cases great talent as well. He is born into a music-loving family with a Gramma who plays in the symphony and an uncle who can play the trumpet quite well. The rest of us just truly appreciate music of all types (my marching band bell bottoms and water buffalo hat have been retired long ago). My mother said that she played opera for him the other day, and he just froze in his tracks. I'm not sure how it struck him, but it apparently really made an impression. Music will likely be a big part of his life, although this seems to be only just beginning to develop at this point. Once again, I was skeptical about his interest in music until recently, when moments like this remind me of its potential to be a powerful tool in his life to comfort him and better connect him with the world.

I am very excited about spending the holidays with my favorite toddler this year. I am happy to say I found the perfect Christmas gift for Erik. My mother and I have been discussing keyboards, and Brian and I looked at some Yamaha electronic keyboards at Costco. Now THAT will be fun to wrap.

Erik and I snuggled and watched part of Sesame Street this morning after some quality time with Play-Doh, books, and trucks. He is all boy and rarely snuggles with me anymore unless he is feeling poorly. In fact, it's usually a red flag heralding some sort of developing illness. However, the show was all about babies today, and he was fascinated by it. He has been talking nonstop about the babies in his life for a couple weeks now. There is something new happening in him that is slowly but surely forming strong connections to familiar people in our lives besides just immediate family, and it is amazing to watch his memory and affection for them develop, even the ones who are a little scary to him. He will start reciting names of people he knows without warning, especially Baby Sammy, Cousin Brogan, Cousin Brayden, and Bev (BEF!). He sometimes goes to the window to look for them. He is smiling at his buddy Dominick now, although saying that many syllables has yet to happen.

We have (you guessed it) therapy today. What keeps me motivated is Erik's enthusiasm for the therapists and the fact it is still mostly play to him. Erik already knows Bev is coming because I told him this morning, and, from what I can tell, I believe he has remembered all day so far. I'm off to download bone scans to transcribe and be a productive member of society today. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

4 Comments:

Blogger Aspen said...

What a beautiful story! I have only recently started to notice a much more intensified appreciation for music coming from Daven. A singing toy, he will now pull to his ear, at church while singing...Daven will randomly belt out his own tune, and of course his love for the songs that we sing together.

I think a keyboard is a fantastic Christmas present! It is something that he will be able to enjoy for many years to come. My prediction is, we will some day be in awe of what our children can do musically.

Be sure and hold on to something when you go outside! LOVE YOU GIRL!

3:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

Wow that is pretty cool...I bet he loves the keyboard;)

We have snuggle time everynight before bed well actually during bed time...This morning when Tatum and I went to wake Emma up she grab us both and wanted snuggles...AHHHH that is the best. I bet he is always going to have some time for snuggling with dear old Mommy...:) Love You, enjoy you weekend as well

6:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

Wow that is pretty cool...I bet he loves the keyboard;)

We have snuggle time everynight before bed well actually during bed time...This morning when Tatum and I went to wake Emma up she grab us both and wanted snuggles...AHHHH that is the best. I bet he is always going to have some time for snuggling with dear old Mommy...:) Love You, enjoy you weekend as well

6:13 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

How cool you are starting to see some musical appreciation. My mother has already told us we can have her piano when the time comes and I am excited for that.

Remember to get a microphone too... then you can hear "WHEELS" really looud throughout the house. :)

Have a good weekend!
Love -K

7:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home