Some of my favorite memories of my father involve “The Sound of Music”. Several times a year, he would play the movie and call us to the living room to watch it with him, regardless of what we would be doing: “Roba! Hisham! Omar! Gus! Come watch!” Then we would spend the next couple of hours singing together.
When my dad passed away a few years back, I would resort to singing this song in my head in moments of weakness. Somehow, it worked.
These days though, there isn’t any other song that brings up such a complicated emotion in me: a messy mixture of childhood joy, the sadness of loss, and the futility of hope. When I hear “My Favorite Things”, I don’t know whether to cry, to laugh, or to smile.
From a post on AndFarAway in 2008:
“The Sound of Music” was probably one of the first movies I ever watched in my life. It is is also the one movie I’ve seen a million times. I don’t remember the first time, but I do remember my dad calling throughout our childhood to watch it.
Then, just before I started typing and as I watched the YouTube clip above, I remembered the hundred million times I sat mesmerized as I watched this scene as a child, and the favorite things of my childhood came rushing in.
- The movies that my dad used to get us when we were kids, like “The Sound of Music” and “Grease.”
- The rides to the airport that he used to take us on to see the airplanes, as we all sang “Ya baba khodna mishwar, wadeena 3ala ilmatar.”
- The Movenpic strawberry flavoured icecream he used to get as treats.
- The way he makes knafeh.
- The long road trips to Bahrain, Hassa, Dammam, or Khobar, all spent listening to his collection of Nizar Qabani’s music.
- The first time I ever saw the internet, when he showed me how it works.
- The clothes and dolls he used to get me when ever he traveled, laying them on the bed across from me so that I find them when I wake up in the morning.
- The way he took us out every Friday for lunch, for as long as I can remember.
- The messy glue and silicone over the stuff he fixes.
- The games he invented to entertain us, especially the one that involved rubber balls being thrown while we ran through the corridor.