The Sound of Music
I am really excited about this post. This story really embodies the whole concept of my organic experience in the sense of life giving you something completely unexpected and wonderful and I got to sit back and just soak it up. However, like many of my stories, it begins with frustration related to rett. We were on our way out the door to take Claire to Kid Quest so that I could get some respit. I suspect that while I was putting Chloe in the car Claire developed the urge to go to the bathroom. As Chloe was already in the car, I asked her to hold it and told her that if she didn't make it it was no big deal. That provided absolutely no solace and she proceeded to go absolutely crazy. Screaming and biting her hand, yes you can do both at once. It wasn't normal I am irritated screaming, it was the venomous I hate my body, I hate that I can't talk, I hate that you don't read my mind raging anger screaming. By this time we were in the car and the thought did occur to me, just put on her favorite audiobook, it will calm her. But I know that she can calm down on her own and I do not want to lower the expectation just because I am tired. So in the interest of neutral music (Claire and Chloe each have their favorite and we typically rotate between them) I put the radio on the classical station. I then drove and count to five out loud, modeling deep breathing. As Claire started to calm I could hear Chloe speak, "Mommy, is this the song about Ariel?" In an instant I felt as if a bomb had exploded in my head, so many thoughts, so many emotions, stay calm, it is a two year old, you can do this I thought. I then answered and we had a dialogue about the story that Chloe heard in the music. First of all, I am still in awe every time Chloe speaks in a clear sentence not to mention that she can convey what she experiences in her imagination. I don't have an imagination really so that part really amazes me. We dropped Claire off at Kid Quest and then drove home. Now that the screaming wasn't filling the background, I could think a little more. Listening to the music and the narrative that Chloe provided took me back to 7th grade when I lived in Albuquerque. My cousin played the cello and was really my introduction into classical music. I remember her explaining how she favored Handel as it had preferable cello pieces in it. During the year that I lived there I enjoyed when I got to hear her practice or perform. Perhaps it was the exposure to the music in person that had such a deep effect on me and when we moved away, I heard less of it, with time my fondness and appreciation for it just faded. Until today that is. It must have been because I was in such an emotionally raw state, but when Chloe started to describe it to me, I heard the song in a very different light and I enjoyed it. In fact, I reveled in it. I thought of how I had dreamed when Claire was a baby that someday she might play an instrument such as the cello or the violin. Even the memory of the shattered dream didn't kill the moment. I began to think what a wonderful vehicle music is for non-verbal communication. In a sense it seems like an equalizer of sorts. Words are such a hard thing. There are some that are good with them, but many are not. Words seem to be so limiting when it is something greater that you desire to express. I do believe that Claire will have her chance at this expression. She enjoys the arts so much, today was such a sweet reminder that even without spoken words, she has a lot to say and there are vehicles for that don't involve language, good thing I have Chloe to remind me of that.