last night i went to my mom and dad's in shapleigh for some much-needed TLC. My mom knew I had been battling a wicked cold and decided a home-cooked meal and some time with the family was appropriate. and exactly what the doctor ordered. the drive to shapleigh was so. beautiful. i've not seen this much snow since i was a kid...snowbanks higher than many of the houses, and the trees leaning over in the road, plush with snow and making this magical sort of tunnel to drive through. it was just gorgeous.
after dinner, we sat in the livingroom and the conversation inevitably turned to my dad reminiscing about my sister and i when we were kids. he likes to talk about the old days...and i love to listen. he and my mom started with their back and forth memory swap and eventually i heard a story that was new to me. seems when i was very little, about 3 or 4 years old, i was a serious chatterbox. according to my dad, i just never. stopped. talking. people would remark about it...my gawd does she ever take a breath?
my mom said the only way they could get me to shut up was to read to me. because i was hungry for stories, any stories, at all. so every night they would tuck me into bed and read and read and read until it looked like i had finally run out of gas long enough to fall asleep. this memory made them both laugh, and i felt them sort of staring at me for a few seconds. i imagine they were trying to figure out how that little 3 year old girl had turned into the 40-something gray haired woman in front of them.
my dad coughed a little, leaned back in his chair, sighed, and talked in a very quiet, almost wistful voice. you know we would walk out of your bedroom and just stand in the hallway. and you'd start talking again, to yourself. or singing. my god Darl how you loved to sing. your favorite song? your cheatin' heart, by hank williams. you knew every word to that song before you could even put sentences together. you'd just lay in bed and sing yourself to sleep. one night your mom and i put one of those little hand tape recorders under your bed and just let the tape roll. and we had you singing 'your cheatin' heart' on tape. ah. what i wouldn't give for that tape right now. just to hear my little girl singing her heart out.
and then we all just sat there, quietly, looking out the window at the giant piles of snow in the front yard, the three of us each yearning, in our own private ways and for our own private reasons, to listen to that tape. just one time.
it was a precious, precious moment.