The last few nights, Rosemary has been asking me to rock her like I used to do when she was little. She says she just wants to hear me sing. When I rocked her to sleep every night, I used to sing for hours and hours. Even though rocking and singing seemed to keep her awake even longer, I tried very hard not to resent those hours sitting in the dark and holding her close, and most of the time I didn’t. There were desperate moments after 10pm sometimes that I thought I might go insane and yearned to look into bright light again, but most of the time, I was quietly content to be snuggling with my own little angel baby—even when she was big enough to just go on to bed.
She says she thinks it might help her go to sleep now if we could just record me singing while I’m rocking her, so she can play it in her CD player every single night, over and over. She wants an album…of me! And my life experience has led me to conclude that my singing is nothing special. Except to her. It makes my heart warm just thinking about it.
Tonight, I sat down with her in the rocking chair and started to sing, and her seven-year-old legs were so long and flailing about that she had to prop them on the bed next to the rocking chair. All of a sudden, she started singing with me. Then she asked me to stop singing altogether, and she sang every word of about eight songs that I have sung to her for her entire life. Every word.
I wish I had a CD of that, and I could play the album every single night.
My child has taken in every word, every breath, every part of those moments we shared—and now she can sing the songs herself. There are even some songs she sang tonight that I haven’t sung to her in at least 2 years.
Tonight, I decided that this is what it’s all about. We hold them close, we love them, rock them, sing to them, and suddenly one day they’re singing the songs themselves. Rocking their sisters in little rocking chairs, holding doll babies close. They’re copying the way we love, the way we live.
How lucky we are to be able to show them how, and how much luckier to be able to watch them do it themselves.