Monday, July 3, 2017

When Words Fail

Music has enriched Aksel's life so very, very much. Before he spoke, he sang. Or in simpler terms, before I "understood" his words, I "recognized" his music. (See videos below.) And oh, was it joyous to hear?! Because there was such a long, lonely stretch of time when I didn't think Aksel would talk, and I was heartbroken! 

But music is the universal language, right? Funny, I never knew at 21, when I advocated for "Save the Music" (as a platform in Miss South Carolina), and visited countless classrooms in and around my hometown, attesting passionately to its "universality" - that music, would actually come to save me (and my son) - that I would come to truly live and believe in its power? (Aside from the instantaneous joy and gratification I felt in "making" music.)

Because music has changed my life, and my child's life, too!

But really, Aksel lives and breathes for music. From the moment he wakes, till the minute he rests, my child is forever humming, drumming (on his belly), and strumming. And I'm not exaggerating!

In fact, Aksel rhythmically "drums" on his belly so much, that over the years, he's incurred dark callouses and bruising on both sides. And as concerned parents, we've tried, with varying success, to "replace" the behavior with real instruments - bongos, shakers, tambourines - but Aksel still prefers to truly "feel" his music. Thankfully, the self-injurious behavior has diminished some with age and maturity, but it's still a point of discussion at our well-check appointments and IEP meetings.

The true impetus for this post though, is Aksel's recent sophistication and knowledge of music. At seven-years-old, he's taken his appreciation to a whole new level, and as his mother, I'm amazed!

In the last few weeks, for example, here's a list of some of his recognitions/favorites:

  • "Mom, it's Take Five! It's jazz!"
  • Yesterday at Seabrook, "It's Jackson 5!"
  • "Tears for Fears, everybody wants to rule the world!"
  • "Watermelon Man, it's my song!"
  • Listening to Andrea Boccelli on PBS, "It's opera!"
  • "Mom, please find Anytime She Goes Away (Ain't No Sunshine) on YouTube."
  • "Careless Whisper, I need Careless Whisper."

It's just a beautiful kind of life, and on that "note," literally, I wouldn't change a thing. "When words fail, music speaks."

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