Sometimes there is Joy, too.

Tamara was out of town at a conference for work.  Ruby had headed off to a birthday party.  Savannah and I were left alone in the house.  Neither of us were interested in the college football game on the TV.

I asked, "How about I get my guitar?"

Savannah wobbled her head toward me.

"I'll take that as a yes."

I opened the dusty case and tuned.  Savannah burst into laughter at the sound.

"How about we start with a tribute to Lou Reed.  You know he just died."

I played "Sweet Jane."  She sang along the only way she can, without words, making long, open /a/ vowels.  As she kept singing, I played "Brown-Eyed Girl."

We moved on to her favorite songbook:

"Dream a Little Dream of Me"
Simon and Garfunkel's "America"
"Puff the Magic Dragon"

During "Octopus Garden," she erupted into hearty guffaws of laughter at each chorus.During "Octopus Garden," she erupted into hearty guffaws of laughter at each chorus.During "Octopus Garden," she erupted into hearty guffaws of laughter at each chorus.
During "Octopus Garden," she erupted into hearty guffaws of laughter at each chorus.

"And, for my encore, I'll dazzle you with a tune from one of your favorite movies."  I played "If I Only Had a Brain."

She smiled and drooled.  She didn't sing, but listened intensely.

"It's always great to play here in Austin, Texas.  You've been a lovely audience.  T-shirts and CDs are available in the back."

Savannah laughed until she coughed up an enormous wad of phlegm that I caught in a dishcloth.

"Austin City Limits sucks tonight, so let's go play a record before bed.  What d'ya say?"

She slumped in her chair.  Her evening cocktail of meds had kick in, but she smiled through the haze as I pushed her into the living room. "Feeling no pain, are you?"

"Let's give that 'ELO Greatest Hits' a spin?"

The cat followed us and climbed into my chair in anticipation of my arrival.  "Aren't we a pair?  A teenage girl and her Daddy sitting around the living room, listening to rock-disco records from the 1970s on a Saturday night?"

She grimaced with some re-flux.  "I hear you."

As the music played, I did a shuffle and a few steps from the hustle.  The cat meowed at me.  "Ok, sure, everyone's a critic."

We sat and listened to the music for a while.

"It's your bed time, Sweetie.  Come on."

I unstrapped her from her chair and lifted her close to me.  She's so heavy now.  I carried this teenage girl through the house, cuddled under my chin the way she used to do when she was much smaller.

"Since its just me, I'll just give you a sponge bath, change your diaper, and put you in your jammies."

I worked through her bedtime routines.  She yawned.  After everything was done, I tucked her in.

"I had a wonderful date tonight.  Goodnight."  I kissed her cheek.  "See you in the morning."


#parenting #SpecialNeeds

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