Five for Ten: HappinessMay 12, 2010 at 9:15 am | Posted in Five for Ten, Giggles | 42 Comments
Tags: Children, Kids, Language, Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Personal, Songs
My son is a child of few words.
He understands plenty. But the words he chooses to articulate? Are the ones he adores. And shouts with exuberance.
Choo-choo! Fire truck! Pretzel! Balloon! Daddy!
He is a mobile exclamation mark, talking, laughing, scurrying about, and pitching fits with verve.
When he was three months old, we desperately wanted him to learn to sleep in his room. In his bed. Until then, he had steadfastly refused anywhere except the car seat. On the coffee table. And three-hour shifts on the nearby couch had left our backs and minds in knots.
I began taking him to his room and feeding him for the last time. I turned the lights down low and the white noise up loud. I bounced him on my birthing ball, willing him to sleep with the rhythm of my body, the warmth of my arms, and the lull of my voice. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Please, please, please.
I began to sing, the first song that came to my mind. Little boy blue, come blow your horn.
Over and over, I sang it, the only verse I knew. Sheep’s in the meadow and cow’s in the corn.
His enormous eyes stared back at me, his thick lashes willing themselves to stay open. Where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
Just when his soft, chubby body began to relax, he would jar himself awake. He’s in the hayloft, fast asleep.
And I would start again. I sang it so many times, I started making up new verses. Trying out words and rhymes, replacing ones that didn’t quite fit, adding in his name. Through trial and error, as we bounced together in the darkness, both exhausted, I drafted, reworked, rewrote. I created a lullaby. For him.
Last week, after a particularly adventurous afternoon — Swings! Chalk! Pizza! Bubbles! — I rubbed my son’s cheek as he settled into his crib. He laid his damp, blond hair on his soft, blue pillow. He threaded the corner of his yellow blanket between his long fingers. He tucked his stuffed mouse into the crook of his arm.
Very, very quietly, my rambunctious whirlwind of a boy, my precious exclamation mark, whispered two new words. “Sing blue?”
And I sang. The same words we created together those many nights ago. The same words I sing to him every night.
But in my heart? Only one word: happiness.
Read more about happiness at Momalom’s Five for Ten.