Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Heard You Whistling

Every year when school was about to start, my parents would haul 5 of the 8 kids in our family to Rich's in downtown Atlanta to buy school clothes. Let loose in the department store, we'd be given parameters (which of course we ignored) and always a common meeting time and place. As time drew near for the "round-up", a familiar, clear, vibrant whistle (two tone) split through the Muzak and stopped us dead in our tracks. It was my mother's two-tone calling to her children: I am here. Come this way. I am your mother. Get over here my children; come towards the source of the sound. She whistled this call to us in many public places--on the beach, in grocery stores, out of our back door. Her whistling brought a sense of routine and comfort to our lives. It was distinctly recognizable. Just hearing those two pitches from my mother's lips was all the alert we needed to "hop-to" and head back to the barn.
Taylor loves it when I whistle. I have other talents about which I could brag more ardently. I am a pretty good teacher. I am punctual. I can get my own Saran Wrap started. I can sing on pitch. I can fold double-fitted sheets. Yet, and still, the only one of my talents that Taylor has ever given me indication of that really impresses him is my whistling. I whistle along with the dwarfs in Snow White. (Hi Ho!) Today I was whistling my favorite song along with a CD. You get it. It's not constant, but I can break into a sweet whistling when I need to. Now, mind you, this positive reinforcement lavished by Taylor is not immediate. He usually waits an hour or so before he quietly drops the compliment, "I heard you whistling." And he smiles and touches my hand. Like he thinks I single-handedly informed NASA how to bring The Endeavor back to Earth. Like I should audition for Julliard's graduate program. Like I am the most incredible human on this planet. He heard me whistling and Taylor thinks I am magic. Even though I am never acknowledged for all of my other talents (listed above) this whistling talent is a always a winner in Taylor's eyes.
Taylor never asks me to do anything for him. He is content with any love that I offer. There is no guilt trip from him or martyr card to be punched. His love is truly unconditional--and rare. Today when Taylor said, "Mama, I heard you whistling," I thought of my own mother's whistle and what it meant to me. I believe that what Taylor hears when I whistle is a sound of distinct and steadfast assurance from his mama. The whistle's sound is, "I am here. This is where you'll find me. Come here. You are mine." I whistle and Taylor hears me. I called to him. He knows he is mine. He heard me whistling and made his way into my life.
Confession: I was lying about being able to fold double-fitted sheets, but I can whistle. Do you?