I’m not sure exactly when it was I first thought of you. It was some time that summer, the one I wasted so brilliantly – swimming, liking girls from a safe distance and wishing I was Jairzinho. Somewhere else, across the sea, your mother was strolling down country roads, sitting dreaming by furze bushes, waiting for your song to arrive. When it came, she kept that song for ten years, then another ten, kept it for you. And
then, when I met her, she taught it to me. I changed some of the words; the melody was forever. We sang the song together, her and me, the morning we invited you into our world; nine months later I heard it in your cries, a year later in your first laugh. As time passed, we taught your song to our friends and family. When life hurt you, someone would sing your song to you, ease you and hold you with it. When you started to do all the things we knew you would, when you won something, when you passed something, whenever our gods smiled on you: we sang it then too. You fell over once and we sang your song; we sang it on that first day at school. And when you did something wrong or hurt anyone, when the world’s disinterest seemed unjust and you tried to set it right, we sang your song more lovingly, more warmly, sang it louder and clearer. Soon, you will think of a child yourself, head out and away from the world for a while; you too will wait for a child’s song to come to you. When it comes, you’ll welcome it. I hope I have a chance to sing that one too.