While in Los Angeles last weekend, I spent some time at a co-worker's house, sharing a wonderful evening with her and her family. I arrived late in the afternoon, and was greeted at the door by my friend, her husband and her little boy. This was the first time I had been to their home and they made me feel immediately welcome.
The little boy, an only child, 7 years old and bursting with energy, was the obvious star of the night. He engaged us with his ready grin and his lively eyes framed with a headful of red curls. We visited. We shared a meal. And we were treated to a show, created and performed by this little star. He had us captivated. We took pictures. We laughed. And we marveled at his imagination, execution and energy.
After "the show," performed in the kitchen, with "girls in the front chairs and boys in the back," and after he signed autographs for us, we retired to the living room. My friend's husband had a new guitar, one that he has not yet learned to play, and which he had asked me to give its first test. No arm twisting was required, of course, and I sat down and started plucking, "You Are My Sunshine." My brain was trying to think of songs appropriate for a 7 year old, but nothing would present itself, so I sang the old song. And the little boy curled up in his mother's lap and listened.
When I finished singing, I was surprised by the little guy. "Will you sing it again?" he asked? Well, of course I did and his dad sat at the piano and added to the concert, and the little boy sang along, in the comfort to his mother's lap, once a virtual bundle of energy, now completely absorbed in the quiet sharing of harmony. He asked for one more request...."Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." And I was happy to play it for him. His smile was my reward.
We played and sang for a couple of hours, his father, the piano player, who had not played in years, played from the music book he found in the piano bench, and we sang. And the little boy fell asleep in his mother's lap. And I knew this little star's night had been made, as much by our show for him as his show for us. As his mother carried the boy to bed, I remembered how it was, twenty years ago when my children were that age. How sweet, how very sweet, those moments are.
When I left that night, it was with my autograph from this young star. He had signed his name and added, "you are cool!" So, there you have it. At least I'm cool to one little boy.