Sophie Wants a Mountain

Friday I loaded the kids in the minivan and drove 90 minutes south to visit a good friend and her son, who live in Louisville. (Thanks again for the great afternoon, Maria, and the delicious lunch!)

On the way home I was listening to my iPod while all three children slept. Pete Droge‘s “Going Whichever Way the Wind Blows” started playing and I was immediately struck with memory. Sophie and I used to dance to this song, when she was baby. I often found myself choosing it when she was frustrated, for a reason unknown to me, therefore making me frustrated. I think Pete’s voice and our dancing calmed her, and Pete’s words calmed me.

“Going whichever way the wind blows,
you were caught in your world,
I was lost in mine.

Going whichever way the wind blows,
staring through the windshield,
seeing the other side.
let it go, it will get easier,
let it go, just enjoy the ride.”

The song reminded me of so many things: that it was OK if things got a little off schedule. That sometimes we just had to go wherever life took us that day. That we were two separate people, speaking two different languages and that sometimes it took several tries to figure each other out. That I shouldn’t worry so much, that it will get easier, that I need to enjoy the moment for what it is, not what it wasn’t.

Back to our drive home from Louisville: A few songs later, another Pete Droge song came on. This one, “Lily Wants a Mountain.” The song is about a little girl, Lily, who, while looking at Mount Rainier, asks for a mountain. I used to change the words to this song, singing “Young Sophie, young Sophie, wants a mountain” instead of “Young Lily.” And I remember thinking how absurd it would be that Sophie would someday be old enough to ask for such a thing—to ask for anything—in a way other than crying.

But now, Sophie is the same age as Lily is in the song. And while she hasn’t asked for a mountain (yet) her daily requests include milk, cereal bars, “Maggie and the Ferocious Beast” on the computer, Tucker to move, Tucker to come, Tucker to stop running away while she gives him a doctor’s appointment, milk, a clementine, new panties, her water shoes, a gold crown, laughter from Owen, snuggles from me, Dad to come home, milk, a popsicle, errands (which, to her, include the park, the zoo and the children’s museum), a light on, a door opened, a glue stick cap unscrewed, yet more milk.

And today, we went to a preschool open house with a plan to enroll her (somewhere) this fall. When Ms. Susie asked her her name, she said “Sophie Olivia Uhl.” She said how old she was. She introduced her brothers. She asked to play. She counted beads and sorted colors and painted a picture. She looked at the fish and talked to the doves. She threw a fit when it was time to go.

She is very much the Lily in that song. And, looking back, I really did just go whichever way the wind blew. (I have twin boys now!) I just can’t believe it blew so fast.

“Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself.” —Henry Ward Beecher