Lullabies

Dear Children-of-mine-who-are-yet-to-be,
I look forward to the day that I hold you in my arms, count your toes, kiss your nose, and finally Name you. I think that I will be well prepared for you in many senses... thanks to my eight siblings--your new aunts and uncles--I have been trained rigorously in the fields of diaper changing, baby food smashing, laundry doing and late-night coddling. These are some of the technical aspects of taking care of a child that any growing girl can learn, given the proper circumstances. There are others that an older sister simply cannot learn, no matter how hard she tries, because of the simple fact that the children she is surrounded by are not hers. Mother-love, I am learning, is very different from Sister-love. When you carry around a person inside your body for nine months you I suppose you would get very attached.
There is one thing less technical, but more... personal, that I have slowly acquired over my growing up years--one of those things that you finally see leading to a head once you're at a certain age--and that is my own personal style in lullaby singing. Your grandmother's example for me was laid out in a nightly singing of a few select songs, that have become permanently ingrained in my repertoire. "Jesus Loves Me", "Whisper a Prayer" and "I Love You (A Bushel and a Peck)" are a few that you will no doubt hear over the course of your time as my child. But from the time I was 12, a few songs have crept into my playlist that my mother would probably never have dreamed of singing to me. I've found my self singing them to baby siblings and to children that I babysit, right alongside the old standards. They are songs that color my life,  my interests and tastes, in specific ways. Whether or not I actually attain my long sought-after degree of library science before I meet your father, and have you remains to be seen, but you will have no doubt of your mothers love for literature as you grow up (though I promise to not read you Tolstoy before you're ready). Your name, may or may not reference old literary friends, and your shelves will be overflowing from the books-only baby showers I will request. But back to the songs.
I will sing to you "Into the West" from Return of the King, remembering the peace and rest of the Grey Havens and praying that you too will "lay down your sweet and weary head." It always worked when I sang it to your Fifth-Uncle. I will sing "In Dreams" from The Fellowship, reminding you that you are never far from my mind and heart while you sleep, and no matter where you go. And I will sing you Cosette's "Castle on a Cloud" maybe somewhat ironically pointing you to a place where "no one cries" for "crying at all is not allowed."You will listen to them blindly, not knowing where they originate until the day you are old enough to watch these movies. Then you will stir in recognition as the credits roll, realizing that all this time your mum sang that one song to you as you drifted off to sleep. These, my dear child, are the quirks of your mother, the songs that come to mind when the child in bed asks for one more song, and then another. They are my gift to you, from the stories that have effected me the most deeply as I have grown, and one day you will know them too.
Sweet Dreams.
Mum.

3 comments

  1. Um.. okay.. your blog is amazing. And I love it. Very much. You are such a good writer.. I love your style of writing as well as the content. Awesome job dear! Keep it up! :)

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    1. Thanks Ruth! I'm glad you enjoy it. :)I appreciate the comments!

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  2. Rich. Warm. Beautiful.
    The person(s) you are addressing, and the one who will help you make them, will be blessed of God.

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