Mookie’s singing class is learning “Red River Valley,” and listening to them the other day I had a flashback to a very sweet memory of her singing it to me when she was about four. I’m sure these aren’t the words they taught her in preschool, but children’s ears have their own logic, and she sang:
Come and sit by my side if you love me,
Come and sit by my side if you do,
And remember the blue vitsy valley
And the one who has loved you so true.
Yes, it says “blue vitsy valley.”
If I tried to describe how much I love my daughter, I would fail. All I could do was show you a film, a snippet from the internal running video of memory, of the sweetness of her voice and the tilt of her head as she sang these words with utter confidence and feeling, and you’d understand. I never even knew this chestnut before she brought the four-year-old’s version home, and now, as long as I live, I will never be able to hear it without tears coming to my eyes.