For ever so long, going back to law school, perhaps even college, I’ve been known to rise up early as the rest of the house sleeps, and listen to music while drinking a hot beverage. The music has changed through the years, as has the beverage–from coffee to green tea to hot lemon and honey water and back to coffee. For nine years, I had a companion crawl out of bed each morning at exactly 6 am, climb onto my lap (next to my lap as he grew bigger) and join me for about an hour of listening (his grade school didn’t start until 9 am, so there was always time for one more song). That little boy, my companion, is now almost 18 years old, 6 foot 2 and nearly 200 pounds of straight muscle. And it’s almost been another nine years since sleep became more important to him than these listening session with his mom. Ethan and I still share music, as in recommending CDs or new artists to one another, but we rarely listen to music together. I did drag Ethan across the country this past summer to see Dave Matthews with me. He fell asleep during the concert. I guess he’s never really gotten into DMB as I have, but that’s okay. We’d both go without sleep for a few days to see Led Zeppelin back together or to travel back in time to see the Grateful Dead.
Ethan wrote me a poem for Christmas and I am treasuring it in my heart. It perfectly captures those mornings–such happy memories I will carry with me always. Much of the poem might only make sense to the two of us but still, I took a photo of it to post here. The poem reminds me to slow down and find a similar shared time with Josh, whatever it may be. Likely reading book after book in my brown chair, that’s more Josh’s thing than music. The activity is not so important as simply taking the time and creating the ritual because little boys grow to be big boys and they carry these memories forward too.