The other day I was in my bedroom folding laundry when Caroline came in and announced she would like to take a shower. A few minutes later, she was in there doing her thing when I noticed she was humming the tune to I Am Sixteen Going on Seventeen. And she was humming it so sweetly, bouncing lightly on every note, clear as a bell. But it sort of stopped me in my tracks. Up until just the other day she was a bathtub girl. She wanted me to wash her hair.
Now here she was in the shower, singing about those years of angst and too much eyeliner.
But before I could go too far down the path of despair over the hastening passage of time, I was brought back to my senses by her dear little voice. How perfectly in tune it was.
And I remembered a time during the first year of her cello lessons, when the teacher asked Caroline to play a particular song and even hummed the first few measures, thinking the prompt would be helpful. Caroline stared at her for a moment. She had her hand in position, but then she adjusted it slightly and started playing the piece a few intervals higher than it was actually written...at the exact pitch her teacher had sung it. Her teacher stared at me. I stared at Caroline. It was uncanny, to say the least.
There is something in all of this which evokes the essence of that little girl. She is as far from perfect as any other child, and if I could just stop her from giving mean looks to Izzy on occasion, how much happier certain rides home (from music lessons, at night, in busy traffic) would be! And before you roll your eyes over the perceived benignity of a mean look, please allow me to assure you in our family, a mean look is the catalyst for a rapid and unprecedented decline in human behavior.
I'm not even sure how Darwin would explain it.
But I digress. What I really meant to say was Caroline has this ability to perceive things exactly as they should be, as if she is tuned to a frequency which doesn't miss a beat. And even though she is coming along at her own pace, she still hears it. She knows it's there. And what fills my heart with wonder is to watch that girl's determination to head for the thing which sounds perfectly right to her.
p.s. Did you happen to notice the little Tollipop girl sitting in Adelaide's bedroom this morning? What a wonderful start to my day! And are you following the magical unfolding of the story of Soulemama's new home (and by magical I mean: one part magic, nine parts hard work)? I love how her pictures and writing seem to include everyone in the adventure.
It's such a thrill to think of my wistful girls living in corners all over the world. It's almost like a little part of me went over there to visit, myself...