There are threads that run through our lives, and even when I am crazy busy I notice them.  If I had written this last night it may have been better, but yesterday I had some threads pull together and I was struck by the knot in the middle. 

Jill had a baby.  Levi got a car.  Grace wanted me to sing her a goodnight song.

Levi was a tough kid to babysit, because he was such a momma’s boy.  I would spend hours getting him distracted from the lack of Julia, and then slip and say “Mommy” and “ARWAAHH!” off he would go.  So one night, as I was tucking him in to bed, he sleepily asked “Aunt Jenine, can you sing me a song?”  To which I ridiculously replied “A song you know, or a song I know?”  Of course, meaning to ask did I have to sing Barney, or could I sing something slightly less grating, but how was I going to sing a song I didn’t know?  Thankfully, Levi picked “a song you know” and so I began.  I sang him Sweet Baby James by James Taylor, switching out Levi James for the Baby James parts.  It was a hit. 

When my kids were babies, after Andra finally gave up on her nighttime song favorites – the ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – I added a clever song I made up to the repertoire, but always, I came back to Sweet Andra Jane, and later, of course, Sweet Marcia Grace.  Grace asked me to sing to her last night, to help her fall asleep, and that was what she wanted to hear.  So subconsciously, as I sang, I started to sway, back and forth, like I was holding her as a baby, singing to soothe her, and rocking to the beat of the song. As my kids get older, and they stay up later, I sometimes feel like I have lost time in the evenings that I used to have, and that I am always scrambling to get them to bed so I can run around and work, and clean and get ready.  I don’t always feel like taking a leisurely sway around the room to sing.

And so last night, as I was swaying and singing Levi’s song, I was wondering when I stopped wanting to sing to them at night, and about how much easier it was to be a mother to a 9 year old, than it is to be the mother of a newborn.  Compared to the 2 hour baby bedtime feeding, burping, changing, bathing rocking singing ritual for a newborn, just singing is a snap. Then I thought of Jill, just starting out with her beautiful little Benjamin, and of the sleepless nights ahead, of the enormous time commitment a baby is, and of the joy that will pull her through it gracefully and willingly.  I thought of Levi, tow headed and round faced, lying in his bed fluttering his lashes while I sang to him, and I marveled. I miss those days.  Every single one of them.

They are babies so briefly.  They grow so fast.  And before you know it, you are standing in the driveway, singing and swaying like an idiot in the dark as they drive off into the night.

Grace is calling me.  I think I will go sing her a song and rub her back.  Sweet baby.

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5 Responses to Connections

  1. Lyra says:

    This is so darn sweet.

  2. Shelee says:

    Just had a baby in January and this brought tears to my eyes. Trystan really likes “You are my Sunshine” and the ABC’s.

  3. USAfilms says:

    Where have you ordered a design? Horror (((

  4. USAfilms says:

    Where have you ordered a design? Horror (((

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