Reflections of a mother

I remember your long arias at 6 a.m., standing in your crib. Not a note of tragedy in them - all anticipation. Your technique was bizarre your range uninhibited your tone experimental - and I marveled at your breath control.

I said to myself (as mothers will) ``I wonder if...''

But when you were three you announced you would be an astronomer (even though girls usually weren't). You meant to find out what those twinkling stars you had sung of really were.

But by the age of four crayons and paints had claimed you. Now I was awakened not by arias but by having paintings shoved in my face before I had one eye open. ``Lovely,'' I would mumble and fall back to sleep until the next masterpiece was joyfully presented. How I loved the flaming music of your crayons!

The drawings piled up till you were twelve. Then the agrarian phase began. I had to subscribe to a farm journal so you could learn about cattle.

But along with the cows came folk singing, and the inevitable guitar. You sang in a reedy little voice but with unmistakable style and again I wondered (as mothers will) but I said, ``No, it's only part of the agrarian phase.''

Yet in two years without a word of warning you made a giant leap from folk song to opera!

I listened to you practising real arias - and I heard the old crib arias, with their long rambling recitatives. I heard the bright, bold drawings in your voice ... and occasionally I heard a note like a star - and I said, ``There's the astronomy.''

In the end, however, the cows came back. Along with pigs, chickens, birds and growing things.

One never knows what's in the heart when someone sings!

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