1) I love the sound of the back door slamming on a weekend morning at 6 a.m. I know that it's Bing out for her morning run with Socks. Sometimes (rarely now that she is a teenager), Liv tags along. I smile, burrowing deeper in the covers, scissoring my legs just because I can now that there is no body to bang into. And fall back to sleep, no alarm threatening.
2) The sound of ice clinking in my glass of green tea on a Summer night as I stretch out on the Adirondack chair, listening to Cursive's Into the Fold or Lee's The Blackbird Song or Ed Sheeran singing anything.
3) The little dinging noise that my computer makes when I shut it off for the night on my way out of the workplace on a weekday late afternoon/early evening.
4) When I burst out laughing because Liv has been messing with my phone again. It rings and instead of my usual Smells Like Teen Spirit, suddenly a very loud, very rowdy male begins singing, "It's Howdy Doody Time! It's Howdy Time!" Liv is the perfect prankster, adores snagging Bing and my phones and changing up the ring tone to something obnoxious. Once, Bing's phone rang in a restaurant with some obscene rap song screeching at us. She was half mad, half shaking her head and accused ME of doing it. Oh, no. It's Liv.
5) The sound of Liv's phone ringing and she glances down at the number, sighs and doesn't answer. It is Riley. She is no longer at his beck and call. Bing tells me that this is about the normal time for a teen romance to sizzle out. ("Two, three months tops.") Liv is at the stage where she is tiring of some of his (in her mind) dumb ass habits: getting grounded for skipping out of school to go wandering off to a park with some of his friends, getting WAY too excited over a video game and calling something retarded or gay. I did feel sorry for the kid. He pronounced something as gay in front of Bing and I while he ate dinner with us one night. I thought Liv was going to take his head off. ("You do realize that my parents are both women, right, Riley?") Riley's response to Liv's loss of interest was first to put cds of their "songs" in our mail box and then to call her 25 times in a row, and finally to tell her that he thought one of her friends, Molly, was far more "hot" than she was. This made Liv chortle and tell him to go for her. Unfortunately, Liv has somehow inherited her Mother's tendency to be a little merciless regarding love. I have asked her to be more gentle and her response was that she wasn't mean, she was just being honest. Wasn't that better than pretending that she was enamored with him when she had lost interest? At any rate, she is no longer begging for rides to his softball games and when he comes to hers, she ignores him until he practically tackles her. I admit to being very relieved when she told me that she was off boys for a while. ("I think I want to just have a fun Summer spending time with Dad and doing my softball games and basketball camps.")
6) The sound (and the smell) of ball parks in the Summer. Sitting on the bleachers and watching my daughter and her teammates prepare for their game. Seeing Liv swiftly put her hair back in a braid down her back and then tuck it into her baseball cap and then hearing the umpire yell, PLAY BALL!
I love that. Sitting in the sun with my cold thermos of icy green tea and Bing deciding to give into our craving and going to the concession stand and buying us both a salty hot dog.
7) The smell of our lilac bushes and lilies of the valley bursting out. I swear that on warm evenings I can hear them rustling their scent out on to my body. I look over at my rose bushes that somehow made it over this long, hard Winter and seeing their buds ready to burst out any moment. I can hear the buzz of their anticipation. My peonies too. They are trying so hard to burst out into their flower song.
8) The sound of Liv singing along to her ipod as we drive. She has her ear buds in, so all I can hear is her voice singing about "if our love is tragedy, why are you my clarity?" or "the screen door slams and Mary's dress waves..."
9) The sound of the doctor's voice over the phone as he tells me that he likes the looks of my last blood test. "I was worried at first, but now I think you were just really anemic and maybe had some sort of bug. Everything is falling down nicely in your white count." Truly? The relief that I feel is almost a sound inside of me. A sound of a long, shaky smile and then a fist to the air, pumping with joy and a single shriek.
10) The sounds of the first chords of one of my favorite songs as I walk in the door after work and see Bing sitting out on the sun porch, her guitar in her arms, dipping her shoulders as she begins this song and looks up and smiles that come hither grin at me.
12) No air conditioning yet, just wide open windows and the sounds of the turtle dove that nests in our red bud tree, singing to her babies on sunny mornings.
13) Flip flops flapping all over the house as Bing, Liv and I switch over from sweaters and jeans to sleeveless shirts and capris or shorts or (in my case), long flowing skirts. But that lovely slapping sound of flip flops moving around the rooms.
14) The sounds of toast popping up while I catch the bread to spread chunky almond butter all over it and stand with my cup of coffee (with just a tiny splash of cream) in it and then stand outside taking small bites of delicious buttery toasts and sips of strong, robust coffee and watching the squirrels and the garden begin their days too.
15) Listening to Kings of Leon as I drive to work (and now that Liv is out of school, I can leave a few moments later!) sing to me about how they could use someone like me. Oh yes. Oh, yes. Please do that.
16) The sound of what Liv called the ding ding man in our neighborhood. Many, many was the time when I'd hear the faint sounds of the ice cream truck coming into our area and then the thundering footsteps of Liv and her friends coming to beg me for money. She doesn't do that any more though, just looks over at me and smiles, remembering.
17) The sound of the house settling in at night. That fourth step down that always, always squeaks unless you hit the floorboard to the far right. And then, upstairs in the attic, what sounds like faint foot steps. I think I've woken up Bing ten times to check and there isn't anyone there. "Just the ghosts," we say now.
Tell me about the sounds of your life.