Right now, Piper listens to what we listen to; we almost never get the "for kids" kind of stuff (no, not even the Radiohead lullabies). The grandparents have sent some of those albums like The Children's Choir of Nowhere, Montana Sings Beloved Children's Classics or Favorite Childhood Songs, Personalized! but our brief experiments with these items always end with Piper covering her ears and howling "noooo!" So, because we are too lazy to do much other than Google the occasional band making an appearance on Yo! Gabba Gabba this week, mostly she listens to our music. She discerns among artists and has favorites and dislikes. She can sing entire songs from memory (Death Cab for Cutie's "The Sound of Settling" is a particular favorite for this).
As we drove to the library today, listening to Sparklehorse in the car, I suddenly realized that it won't always be this way. Of course I knew this, but this was the first time I really, really thought about it.
One day, she will flip through my cd collection and roll her eyes in disgust at my PJ Harvey and Portishead Japanese import singles. She will stop shouting "Oh, this is my favorite Beatles song!" every time she hears "All You Need is Love" and she will stop singing along with Ryan Adams and Wilco in the car. She will eye my taste for flannel-clad '90's bands and shake her head, the way I do at my mother's continued adoration of country-pop cheeseballs.
Sometimes she runs to me and hugs so tightly, our chests press together, and I can feel her heart beating, secure in its cradle of ribs and flesh. My heart answers hers and for a second or two they seem to match beats. The call of one heart to another, the feel of her tiny arms wrapped around my neck, the smell of her shampoo, and it's so easy to forget that she will not always be my tiny treasure. She will not always fit in my lap and my life in the ways she does now. One day she will big big, away, gone, tending her own life, her own record collection.
But for now, I have this: the spin of a disc in the player, the sound of her voice from the back seat, and "Could you play that song again please Mom?"
Anytime, kiddo. Any time at all.