November 18, 2009
While putting my kids to bed last night my four year old asked me to sing "that song about the moon I love." It's a Mexican lullaby I knew from my childhood. I sang it once and immediately received a terse demand from my two year old, "Again," he commanded. So I sang again. And again. And again. We sang the song over and over until everyone was singing it.
"Why do I love that song so much?" the four year old asked, "It's my favorite one." His question struck me, and in a flash, I was back with my grandparents on their red tiled porch on a hot August night watching lightning roll around in the clouds. My grandfather was on his green metal rocker singing the song. The crepe myrtle was full of fireflies and the air smelled of a storm. When my grandfather finished, I asked the same question, "Abuelito, why do I love that song so much?" He turned to me and said, "One day you won't have to ask why you like it so much, you'll know." Now some 38 odd years later, I did know. Now I was sitting in the dark watching my sons. Both had closed eyes. The two year old's breathing indicated sleep. It had been a long pause when Raul Andres asked "Dad?".
I leaned over and whispered to him, "I think you already know why you love that song. I think you've always known." That was explanation enough. Eyes still closed, he smiled, and drifted off to sleep.