3 worlds collide

I wonder what I will be remembered for when I’m gone. Have I already made my mark on the world or am I on the brink of it now? It’s the existential question we all strive to answer. Some less casually than others (ahem).

But, there moments where the question rears its face and whispers in my ear and these are the times with my nieces and nephews. Like one night, in the way backseat of a mini-van, sitting beside my 4 year old niece I looked at her sneakily and put a finger to my mouth to signal a secret. Then I pulled my iPod shuffle from my purse, put one earphone in her right ear and one in my left ear and turned it on. We sat there, we two, listening to Billy Bragg and Wilco sing about California Stars.
I sang along and sang to her, mouthing the words. She pretended to know them too and “watermeloned” her way through it. We patted our legs to the beat while the second row passengers were singing the ABC song, no earphones in their ears. Then David Gray and January Rain
came on and I told her to pretend we were lying on the grass staring at the sky. I started waving my hands and swaying them like we were floating. “Pretend we’re floating on a cloud,” I said. She mimicked everything I did then I turned the tables and tried to mimic her. It was an awkward transition and one she didn’t realize was happening until she asked, “Are you copying me?” Her questioning made me see the difficulty we have with change, from being the follower to the followed. How we can go from happy and moving along to the rhythms and melody to being rigid and unprepared. Change, even in the presence of soft music, can be hard to handle. But then, in her 4 year old way, she moved quickly back to singing and waving her hands and I wonder if this is what she will remember about me, the way we used sing and dance in private and public places.

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