Truth: Each child has a hymn that I sang to him/her each night of his/her tiny young life.
Truth: Each child also has a favorite Carrie Underwood song (not of any faith orientation, necessarily) that I sang at naptime to each as they were tiny.
Truth: Each child LOVES hearing those songs, on repeat, whenever we drive places. "Mom, play MY song and then Benj's and then Mae Mae's."
Truth: Each song has the power to move me to blubbery tears as I remember those sweet precious moments, snuggling my not-so-tiny babies in their nursery.
Tonight, however, was an experience I hadn't yet had. Tonight, as I helped M out of the tub after her bath, she allowed me to wrap her in a well-worn baby towel that is just barely able to still encircle her protruding tummy. She looked at me and said, "Carry me" with a smug little smirk. We both know this means she wants a little snuggle time before she gets her jammies on. Without hesitation, I whisked her into a cradle position, her legs far too long for this to be comfortable, and I cherished the moment as she nestled into that familiar place in my arms - the one that reminds me of her 9 lb. 2 oz body.
We sat in the rocker, in the darkness of her room, surveying the space I'd created by giving away her crib. As we gently rocked back and forth, I waited for her to ask, because she always does, for me to sing "Angels." I was startled from my daydream, not by her question, but by this heartbreakingly tiny little voice singing to ME some of my very favorite lyrics:
Theres nothing like that feeling when I look into your eyes (complete with tiny chubby fingers pointing to her eyes)
my dreams came true when I found, I found you
If you could see what I see, that you're the answer to my prayers
and if you could feel the tenderness I feel, you would know
it would be clear
that angels brought me here .... (giggles and grins, obviously quite proud of herself)
I let her sing to me ... mostly in a monotone, but with all the emotion a tiny girl can convey. I cherished the privilege that it is to hear her sweet tiny voice - a voice she shares only when she's deeply comfortable. And I just thanked God for the truth in those lyrics ... Angels did bring you, my mae mae. If only you really did KNOW the tenderness I feel for you. The deep desire I have to protect you from harsh words, from unfair situations, from people who would hurt you just because they could ... And the absolutely irrational desire I have for these moments with you to never end.
Yes, tiny peanut, final child who I carried in my womb .... Angels brought you to us. And your incredible siblings as well ...
Today, I needed this reminder. Because this moment came at the end of an emotional week - and a weekend filled with adventures. This Mommy was ready for her glass of vino and that treasured stillness before the fire in the living room.
Thank you, God, for the voice of sweet Madeleine that reminded me today what a quickly fleeting gift my parenting journey is. Even now its easy to see how much less they need me - and how much more they prefer to be busy with friends. It won't be long now before the treasured stillness becomes "all too quiet" and the long days of temper tantrums, too short naps, and slobbery faces are a distant memory.
Thank you God, for these gifts ...
Incidentally - the songs are listed below. I'm curious to know, readers, what songs seem to be the soundtrack to your baby's bedtime moments?
K: In Christ Alone, All-American Girl (I know, its up-tempo, but I was jazzed that my surprise was a girl!)
B: How Great Thou Art, There's a Place for Us
M: It is Well, Angels Brought me Here