By Andrea Isiminger
“The blue bag,” says my son when I ask what he wants for a snack. If I encourage him to be more specific, he’ll name the store where we bought it. Rarely will I hear “Cool Ranch Doritos,” except when he is tasting the words, letting them roll off his tongue instead of crunching between his teeth.
Born with a brain malformation, Jess’ thought process often requires the listener to decode, and communication sometimes fails. But he loves words—especially if they are put to music.
While I prepare dinner, Jess listens to a Tracy Chapman CD in the living room. As I sing her sadness, I wonder how much Jess understands. He pops into the kitchen, and our eyes lock. His expression is my own; he has absorbed the raw emotion of the lyrics.
I continue cooking to nourish our bodies while Jess chooses music to feed our souls.