I’ve noticed a subtle, yet persistent change in the soundtrack of my life. It used to include large spans of quiet; I am not one for constant aural stimulation. Music is wonderful, but I don’t need to always have it on. Sometimes I turn off my car radio and drive accompanied by my daydreams. Part of the reason is because repetitive noises trigger my anxiety, but I also enjoy the moments when I can hear what is going on around me without having secondary noises cover up the sounds of the world. I want to have the space to hear the cicadas and my house’s weird creaks.
That quiet is now largely relegated to a morning cup of coffee and a few snatched moments of sitting on the back stoop. Over the past several months, my boy has been steadily finding his voice. It started as babbles and has progressed to monosyllabic words. He always tells me where his “pup-pup” [puppy] is. He can find the “car” in his “buh-buhs” [books] and tell me that they “go-go-go” and that when they go they sound like “mrrr-mrrr-mrr.” Yesterday, he meowed when he saw a picture of a kitten; I didn’t know he knew that one. He tells me his favorite foods, “na-na” and “bu-bas” [banana and blueberries]. And, because it’s never to early to teach good manners, he will say “puh-puh” [please] and varying versions of thank you when prompted.
He and I trade off narrating our days together. In the midst of his babbles, I catch more and more words. He gets frustrated when I don’t understand him, which is prompting me to listen harder to pick up on what he means. Since he loves to dance, we listen to more music. He likes to break it down to Chuck Berry and uptempo pop music.
I’m glad that my soundtrack has changed because it means my life is alive and growing. There will always be a time for quiet, but now is the time for relearning how to listen and to appreciate what makes a good beat.