Hollis & the harmonica

(Originally posted 4/18/09) About two months or so ago my step-dad, Terry, bought a harmonica with the sole purpose of turning Hollis onto it. At first, Hollis cried when Papa played it. Eventually, he'd stare intently at it as the thrumming sounds hit his ears, but he never tried to touch it. He didn't seem to care about it at all.

I think Terry sorta gave up on the idea that Hollis was a harmonica prodigy and so gave it to us to play with. I tossed it in the basket next to the changing table with the other knick knacks Hollis likes to manhandle while I'm changing his diapers and didn't give it another thought.

Then, one day, Hollis started handing me the harmonica to play. So, of course I'd oblige him and toot out some bag-pipe-esque tunes and he'd giggle and squirm. It wasn't too long after that that he'd start to deliberately put it up to my mouth to play; he'd figured out that blowing with the mouth was part of it. It was at this point that he started putting up to his mouth, eyes wide and waiting for something to happen, but of course nothing did. Either he wasn't blowing or he had it to his lips backwards. In any case, I assume he was highly disappointed.

And so what a glorious day it was when Hollis happened to have the harmonica to his lips and I tickled him or something and he expelled a little puff of air and we hear a "HRRRMM!" He froze and waited for it to happen again. We went through a few days like this until he finally realized that it was his breath making that noise. He's taken off with it ever since.

I never knew an 18 month old could do something like this, but I guess it follows since he's learning to do so many other things. I think it's nothing short of spectacular.

Anthony and I are routinely woken up in the morning by sounds of the harmonica piping down the halls and through the baby monitor. I know he's up from naps when I hear his melodies. We know he's not yet asleep at night when we hear, "hrrrrrm, SHHHRRMM, hrrrrm" from the dark crack through his door.

Today he's at the point of casually one-handing the damned thing, rifting out some notes, and tossing it aside (see video below).

Our old and bitter hearts fluff up a little at these sweet sounds. I swear they do. I feel lighter in my step, happier, younger.

It is wonderment and surprise and sweetness personified.

Therefore, I'm going to dedicate an on going post to Hollis & the Harmonica. I'll add harmonica pictures as they come and any additional video.

Here's to sweet baby music!

Here we are playing around 4/19/09. I sound about an octave higher than I really am. Ugh. (2 mins 25 secs)

Watch the boy-wonder in action 4/18/09 (16 seconds).

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