Time Marches On

Today is the first day of September. A little hard to believe that summer flew by so quickly and that I have already been back at work for almost a month now. It’s been a bit stressful, a new batch of kids, but, at the same time, I am looking ahead and forward to the end of the semester, to when I can finally meet my little girl. I won’t lie, the thought of labor and giving birth (vaginally or c-section) frightens me. I’ve always been afraid of pain, though I suck it up when I have to. It doesn’t stop me from crying when it happens. I worry about not being strong enough to do what I need to do to birth my child, even though – yes, I know – mothers have been doing this since the beginning of time and we have seven billion people on this planet to prove it. Still, that doesn’t stop the fear entirely. But that’s a whole other rant entirely.

I am doing my best to enjoy these moments of closeness with Elizabeth, feeling her move around inside me, kick and stretch and root. Last night, she was quite active as I laid down to go to sleep and turned over on my side; it felt like she was trying to walk or something. So I hummed to her. I hummed “Baby Mine” and, by the time, I finished the song, she had settled down and I could fall asleep. I have a list of lullabies that I have begun compiling for our little girl, songs that I want to resonate in her heart forever, sung by both me and her daddy.

My mother used to sing “Jesus Loves Me” to me, starting every night since I was born prematurely and in an incubator at a hospital in Miami. And, to this day at the age of 29, hearing that song still makes me cry and want my Marmee. I want my daughter to long for me when she gets older, to remember that I was there to sing to her, cuddle her, comfort her, sort out her thoughts and put her heart back in order when needed. I want my daughter to think of me when she’s ill and want me to be there to soothe her and take care of her. I want her to miss me when we are apart, more and more each time we part, just as I do my Marmee. I want my Elizabeth to know that I love her and am always there for her, no matter what.

And to think, for me, all of that began with a lullaby.


“On Lullabies”

I love lullabies! Absolutely adore them. This stems from my mother singing to me every night when I was a little girl; it was the only way I would go to sleep: if my mother laid in the bed with me and sang “Jesus Loves Me” and patted me gently until I feel asleep under the gentle hum of her voice and touch of her hand. I knew I was safe, I knew I was loved. And, over the years, I have collected lullabies to sing to myself and, now, to my child when it is born. My favorites include:

“Jesus Loves Me” (children’s Bible hymn)

“Baby Mine” (Dumbo,┬ásung by Allison Kraus)

“Stay Awake” (Mary Poppins)

“Distant Melody” (Peter Pan play)

“In My Own Little Corner” (Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella)

Dumbo and his mother as she rocks him to sleep.

And the hubby has also added a few of his own favorites lately, namely: “Rainbow Connection” (The Muppets) and “You’ll Be In My Heart” (Tarzan, bluegrass version).

To me, lullabies are tangible love. To sing them, to give of your voice to a little one or just someone who needs it at the moment, is an act of deep love, I believe. Lullabies are not necessarily something that you do out of habit. I think that it is a learned behavior. Little children learn it from parents, grandparents, nannies, older brothers and sisters, daycare teachers and pass it on to sleepy dollies and drowsy cats and dogs. I have already begun singing to our child. So far, “Baby Mine” is my favorite and I’m pretty sure that my mother will use “Jesus Loves Me” with her grand-punkin just as she did with me. Even to this day, when my mom sings “Jesus Loves Me”, it makes me tear up.┬áThe hubby will sing “Rainbow Connection” because it has a special place in his heart.

Singing soothes me, calms me, and I only hope that it will do the same for my little one.