Looking through the two way mirror I watched her. Through the speakers in the observation room, I could hear the whole thing. Riley had her evaluation today, to determine if she could go to a summer music camp.
The music therapist/instructor talked to both of us for a bit, and then asked if it would be okay for mom to wait in the next room. Riley said yes. The instructor let her look at all the instruments and the first one Riley went to was the drums. She used her foot for the first two beats and then hit a drum with a stick.
The teacher told Riley to go ahead and make up a second rhythm.
Bang-bang-boom-boom, with the sticks.
They played around on a keyboard and Riley's body could hardly contain her glee at the synthesizer sounds. She plunked out Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah on her own. The instructor taught her some chords. She beamed.
Next, she used a microphone to sing as the teacher played piano. She hadn't sung that song in years and was rusty on the words. Her voice is so sweet. I'd never heard it amplified before. It is soft and pure and angelic.
The instructor once again set her up at the drums. Told her to use the first rhythm they tried, then change it at the bridge to the second rhythm and then, hell, why not sing along? Here's the microphone.
So Riley is playing the drums with her hands and her feet, the therapist is playing the piano. Riley is singing into the microphone, and she stumbles on the words.
I held my breath.
She raised her hand, drumstick high, and cried, "I need the words. I don't know them."
The instructor got her the words, ASAP. They were back in business.
So Riley is playing the drums, with her hands and her feet, the therapist is playing the piano. Riley is singing into the microphone, fi fi fiddly ei oh and reading the words off a piece of paper on a music stand, and she is keeping up. She changes to the second rhythm seamlessly at the agreed upon time. She makes it through the whole song. She hits the cymbals with a flourish at the end. The teacher calls her, "Music Girl!"
They invite me in for a second round. Riley does not know I've seen the first. They get halfway through and she loses count.
Again, I hold my breath.
She resumes, getting back in time with the piano. She keeps playing. She keeps singing. She absolutely glows at the end.
She's an ace.
She's in like Flynn! She is so excited to be going to music camp (granted with a mandatory private aide, paid for by us).
And I think of this!
And I think of this!
And my heart is so full of love for this child who tries harder than anyone I've ever met.
And I love her when she melts. And I love her when she soars. And I love her for cracking my heart wide open and for changing me in every imaginable way.