We were on our way to Abby's preschool when it happened. Chatting about lyrics verses melody when Uncle Eric popped into her head. "Mommy, what is Uncle Ewic's favewit song?"
"Well, I don't know about now but it used to be Dreams by Van Halen."
"How does it go?"
"No idea, Honey, sorry. But I DO remember this one that Uncle Eric loved. It's called Sweet Child O Mine. By Guns & Roses."
"Mm-hmm. She's got a smiiiiiiile that seems to me, reeemiiiinds me of childhood memoryyyyy when ev-er-y thing was as fresh as the bright blue skyyyyy."
"Now and then when I see her face, sheeee takes me awayyyy to that special place and if I sta-a-re to long I ..."
"Prolly break down and cryyyy, Whoah, ohhh-oh-ohhhh, Sweet Child O..."
"MOMMY STOP THAT KIND OF SINGING! Use your real voice please."
"Sheesh, I was just getting to the good part. That is my real voice. That's my real Axl voice."
"What's another one of Uncle Ewic's favwite songs?"
"I don't know, let's call him and ask."
The phone only rang twice before my brother picked up. He was already at work. I could tell from the din of power tools and hammer frapping going on behind his voice. Still, he pretended he had all day for us. Within seconds, I put him on speakerphone so she could interview him.
"What is your favewit song?"
"Umm...my favorite song. That's a hard one. Oh, I know! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Do you know that one?"
"No. How does it go?"
"You don't know that one? Ok, it goes: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...had a very shiny nose..."
"And if you evah sawit," Abby chimes in, "you could even sayit gwows."
"Good job, Abby, you did know it after all."
"Yes, I just didn't know that's what book it was called. Uncle Ewic? I wuv you so so much. I miss you. You're invited to my birthday pawty, I hope you can make it."
"Oh Honey, that would be great, wouldn't it? Yes, I'd like that too."
"Bye Uncle Ewic, Mommy says to give you the phone back now. I wuv you vewy much."
She hands me back the phone and I rush him off the phone for maybe the first time ever. Not because we were at her preschool but because it wasn't that long ago that another little girl spoke adoringly to her "Uncle Ewic" and wanted to hear him sing, too.
And just like Eric does, he had that voice that feels like a visit home.