Nathan is one of those human beings who has rhythm running continuously through his veins. If he stands still for very long, pretty soon he feels compelled to start up a beat using his chest and stomach as substitute drum heads. And at the dinner table, he has been known to bounce up and down in a rhythmic manner even while shoveling grub into his mouth.
And last night at our family birthday for dinner for Steve? I took several pictures in a row of Nathan’s fingers tapping on the table, playing a beat that only he could hear.
He really doesn’t even know he’s doing all these things. The only time he becomes aware of of his actions is if an unnamed person (um, maybe someone whose first name is Becky and last name is Smith) says something like, “Nathan, please stop banging. It’s not very restful.”
He immediately looks sheepish and with an obviously great and concerted effort manages to get all his appendages to be at rest.
For about two minutes.
And then, without him even being aware of it, that ol’ rhythm sneaks back through his arms, legs and fingers and away he goes again. Bobbing, tapping, swaying. And I just sigh and smile to myself and thank the Lord for such a musical child who loves drums and rhythm that much.
Because honestly? I am amazed by anyone who can play the drums. I sat down at the drum set a few months ago when Nathan was home and tried to show me how to play the “simplest beat possible.”
The result? My slap-dashery efforts caused Nathan to be seized by a fit of great merriment to the extent where he just barely stopped himself from rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter.
So he didn’t get his rhythm from his mother. That is a scientifically proven fact.
But I don’t really need a propensity for rhythm; I only need a propensity for enduring the rhythmic bangings that Nathan always brings to the table with him. However, it is a very small price to pay for having him at home. When he goes back to Florida, I’m sure I’ll sit at the dinner table with Steve and Sarah and pine for the days when Nathan’s rhythm shook the dinner plates.
And how do the other members of the family respond to Nathan’s remarkably rhythmic restlessness?
You can see that it really upsets Sarah. A lot.
And one other Nathan fact before I close. Now that he’s been away at college for three years, you might be wondering if he managed to retain the good table manners I tried to instill in him for eighteen years—manners like never eating a dessert directly from its container.
I guess I’ll let that particular bit of manner-mangling go. Along with the drumming. And the tapping. And the loud exuberance that is Nathan.
Because you know what? I just love having him home.
(P.S. Nathan just got his grades from the last semester of his Junior Year and made all A’s. He obviously gets his rhythmic skills from his dad and his powerful intellect from his mom.)