Monday, November 23, 2009

Bedtime Songs

I do not sing to my children often enough anymore.

Last night as I went downstairs to silence the bedtime rabble-rousing, Hubba made the request. "Mom? Can you sing me a song?"

"Which one?" I asked.

"Angel song," he answered without hesitation. This song, actually called Angel Lullaby, is one I have sung to every child in their infancy. It is one I learned as a child and have loved ever since.

I began to sing and Hubba stopped me. "Can you please look at my eyeballs like you're singing it just for me?" he asked. I smiled, looked into those wide-open, inquiring eyes and was immediately struck with the idea that this would not last. That these kids of mine are growing up much too fast and that I needed to make more time for things like this - simple things like singing a song to them at bedtime.

I felt an urgency to create as many memories as possible in the short amount of time I have with these kids while they are still in our home - to create a bond that would bring them back home to visit once they no longer lived here.

For a moment, I could not sing. I could only enjoy the warm feeling that seemed to permeate my heart - a simple yet profound gift to me wrapped in melancholy - a reminder to enjoy every minute with my kids while they're here with us in our home.

So, I looked into those beautiful blue eyes of his and began to sing the Angel Song, just for Hubba. When I finished, he gave me a little smile and quietly muttered, "Fanks, mom." Be still my heart.

I started to leave when Cowgirl made her request. "Can you sing Be Like A Child?" Another favorite.

I sang. And then All-a-Boy asked for a song as well. I even heard Coolister crack his bedroom door open. Was it so that he could once again listen to the songs he heard so often when he was younger? I like to believe so.

Upon finishing my last melody I stood to leave the room. All was silent. I took a moment to look at each sleeping (or almost sleeping) child and offered silent thanks that I am blessed with so many amazing little (and some not so little) people to share my home and life with.

Today, I am thankful for the chance I was given to remember that each moment (and each child) is a precious gift. I am thankful that they teach me so much. And although my dreams of performing on Broadway stages were never realized, I am thankful for the captivated audience I have at bedtime.

I am thankful for the song of my heart.


Cami said...

You are one amazing lady. Seriously! I am always amazed by you. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and inspiring me to be a better mom.

Brown Thumb Mama said...

So precious! I, too, look into Jackjack's big blue eyes and think that these moments won't last.

My singing is not as well received as yours though. ;o) Although I do serenade him every once in a while.

cabesh said...

What a beautiful experience.

I grew up having Angel Lullaby sung to me, and now I sing it to my kids. There's something about that song.

Salcido said...

Oh, Gerberta, that was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. It reminded me of those same thoughts and feelings I feel for and about my children. Thank you for reminding me about the small stuff that makes the biggest difference!

Martha said...

I have loved Angel Lullaby since I was little, and I sing it to my 3 boys. I want to make a recording of it one of these days.
Although I didn't finish, I majored in vocal performance in college, but always felt...even before marriage...that my family would come before pursuing a performance career. Moments like the one you described in your post have made me sure that as far as performances go, I use my talents quite often, to the most important audience of all.

sue-donym said...

My husband has sang/sung? all of his kids to sleep with the guitar and old folk songs. Now that they are grown they sing those same songs to their kids.

Those are the best moments in parenting, I say.

Autumn said...

My kids are still so young but I look forward to requests like that. My daughter really loves sucking her thumb and rubbing my throat until I have am about to scream. I have to tell myself that it is a sweet moment that will pass and try to enjoy it even though my throat gets irritated by all the rubbing and pinching. I tried introducing her to my ear lobes but she would not have it.

Kimm said...

My favorite time of day, is bedtime!(for more reasons than one) I too love to sing to my little ones! Thanks for sharing your life! You are truly amazing, inspiring and all the other "ings" that are great!

Gerb said...

Cami- Keep commenting, you make me feel awesome.

Pam- It's tough, isn't it? I guess that may be why I just keep having more kids...

Cabesh- Agreed! I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it on stage at El Camino college, bought the record way-back-when and have loved it ever since. Thanks for stopping by!

Salcido- It's easy to forget sometimes. That's why I try to write it down when it comes to me. Thanks.

Martha- Very beautifully said. Thank you.

Sue- It doesn't get much better than that!

Autumn- I'm sure that one day (too soon) you'll wish you could have your throat rubbed raw by your daughter. The power those kids have over us is amazing!

Kimm- I love watching my kids fall asleep. It doesn't happen often, but when it does my heart is happy.

Gina said...

Mercy. You are one amazing girl when it comes to words. That was beautifully said. Love it! Thanks for the reminder.

Teachinfourth said...

Gerb, it reminds me of when you used to sing "Baby Got Back" to me when we were little...ah, those were the days.

Kristi said...

Wow Awesome!

Chelle! said...

...hmmm...will you sing to us at camp this year...every morning and night?

Anaise said...

I love singing to my girls at bedtime--I hope just as you do that it will create memories and bonds of love too strong to be broken--this was lovely to read and think about.

Deb said...

So touching, thanks! It is amazing what our kids can teach us while pulling at our heart and making sure we are grateful for all that we have.

Corine said...

Beautiful, Gerb!

I have been sad at the thought that my kids are growing up WAY too fast, and wishing I had been recording memories, as life has been speeding forward.

So I came here, to your blog, just to hear you talk about your kids (those key words are great!).

I really pray to be able to develop the talent you have of conveying and preserving those cherished moments with loved ones.

Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring! Now I need to go write something about my kids. :)