February 8, 2012

Dear Babies,

There’s this quote that’s pretty good, that will probably pop up around senior year high school yearbook time: Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening.

Not to totally confuse you but that’s not quite the case. You need to sing like you know someone is listening, and you just don’t care…

…Our walks through the neighborhood are quiet, Babies. Especially on these crisp winter mornings. At 10:30 a.m. it feels like no one is out in our area, and I mean no one. Not even that cat with the no tail.

I talk, of course, narrating out trip. “LOOK! Two squirrels!”

I make up stories about the people who live in the houses we pass.

“Up, we’re coming up to the cobbler’s house…I bet he’s in there right now hammering away in front of the fire place, making some shoes…” and our three heads turn as we pass the quaint storybook home with vines snaking up the brick fireplace.

“Here’s the French cheese maker…” and we look at the Tudor.

“Sam the Eagle’s house…” Red, white and blue everywhere, and a huge waving flag.

Yesterday I spied another equally patriotic cute country house in the horizon. On the door was a wood heart painted as the American flag.

It was so quiet…

So still…

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free…” I started off singing low, Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” “And won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me!”


A car door slammed. To my horror, a man was in his driveway unloading groceries and a stroller from the trunk. I was busted.

Hello,” he said with a look of inquisition, in a tone kind of like a question.

“Hello!” I beamed back with a hearty wave. As in, Hi-Ho, Good Neighbor! It’s all good! You didn’t’ just catch me singing in the shower! I’m out singing patriotic songs throughout the neighborhood in my terrible voice like I always do!

My cheeks could’ve turned red. I could’ve been really embarrassed. I could’ve pushed us the hell out of there in one big mea culpa.

But why?

Instead I pushed us calmly on. I picked up singing. I wonder if he heard the next verse grow fainter and fainter as we rounded the corner.

“And I’ll gladly stand UP, next to you, and defend her still today, ’cause there ain’t no doubt I love this laaaaaand, God bless the USA!”



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