Birthday Story for an 11-year-old

Granny B
Happy 11th Birthday Sammy.
Your Grandma Baadsgaard loves you so, so much.

            When Sam woke up, it seemed like a normal day. He did not know that this day would prove to be extraordinary. When Sam walked into the kitchen for breakfast he felt the warm sunlight streaming through the window.  He felt like singing and soaring at the same time. When he opened his mouth, a full orchestra rendition of Morning by Edward Grieg came streaming from his lips as if an entire orchestra resided inside his body. Sam was so startled that he shut his mouth.
            “Sam,” his mother said surprised. “That music is beautiful. Do you have an iPhone in your back pocket?”
            Sam tried to answer his mother but when he opened his mouth the music from Morning continued to fill the warm air of their sunny kitchen. Sam liked this piece of music so well he opened his mouth for a long time while his brothers and sister checked his back pockets. When they were convinced that Sam was not tricking them, they scratched their heads, sat down, munched on corn flakes and listened. Sam was so moved that he walked quietly outside and watched the sunrise accompanied by this gentle lyrical score.
When the music stopped, Sam walked back into the house, got dressed and then went into the kitchen and tried to eat his breakfast. In between bites of corn flakes, Sam heard Jupiter- Bringer of Jollity, from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst blaring through his teeth. At first his mother and siblings stared at him. Sam liked the song so well he ate with his mouth wide open so he wouldn’t miss a note.
“That song makes me feel like I can conquer another day of home school with all you kids,” his mother declared.
Sam’s baby brother Gideon danced up and down dripping milk down his shirt. His brother Liam and Logan marched around the table.
Sam spent the rest of his day reading “Treasure Island” by Robert Lewis Stevenson and listening to programs on string theory and quantum physics on the computer. When he needed a break, he reclined in his chair and opened his mouth. The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig Van Beethoven came out his mouth and offered a rather nice respite.
Later in the day when his brother poked him, looking for a tussle, Sam opened his mouth and tried to yell but instead the aria La Boheme by Puccini came out his mouth and drifted into the room with such power and beauty that neither brother felt like poking each other anymore.
That afternoon Sam found a quiet corner in his back yard behind the shed where he could be alone and think.
I hope this day lasts forever, Sam thought.
Sam felt the wind and the warmth from the late afternoon sun. Then he heard something so faint and quiet that he almost wasn’t sure if it was a voice or a feeling deep inside him.
            “Find your own melody,” the wind whispered as it encircled his body.
            “Don’t let anyone silence you,” a tiny sparrow chirped as it hopped up on his shoulder.
            Then a caterpillar slowly climbed onto the sleeve of his shirt, slithered up to his neck and rested on the top of Sam’s ear.
            “You are authentic,” the fuzzy black and orange creature whispered in his ear.
            Sam opened his arms trying to soak the whole wide wonderful world inside him. Then he opened his mouth and listened to Un Sosprio by Franz Liszt.
            Sam quietly listened until the evening came. Then he walked back into his home. He wrote down his question on a note pad and handed it to his mother.
            “What does authentic mean?” his mother read on the note pad. She looked at her son and smiled.
“Authentic means you are real – that you find you own melody,” Sam’s mother answered.
            When Sam was in his bed that night he pulled up his covers, looked out the window at the moon, opened his mouth and listened to, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy.
            Sam never forgot his extraordinary day. Even though songs didn't spontaneously flow from his mouth after that day, they were still deep inside him - and there was something more extraordinary.
Now every single day when he opens his heart - he finds his own melody and the will to sing his own song.

1 comment:

arianne said...

I always think this, but it's my favorite story so far. Just perfect for him in every way. We spent the next morning reading the story slowly and listening to each piece of music as we went. Unforgettable.