My voice is hushed and soft as I sing the lullaby to my two-and-a-half-going-on-ten-year-old daughter that I have sung to her since she was born. I had a lot of time on my hands to memorize the song during all of those hours rocking and nursing her when she was a baby. I’ve sung other songs to her, of course, but that one was my go-to. My favorite song about us. Singing a song about love and friendship seemed like a better alternative to the redundantly boring Mary Had A Little Lamb.
We used to rock in the oversized faux leather chair that we bought when I was pregnant with my son. That rocking chair has seen many sleepless nights. Many nights rocking babies back and forth held in my arms throughout the dark hours of the morning, night, and who knows when. Time has no meaning when you’re upset instead of sleeping.
Today we aren’t rocking but the song has the same calming effect.
“You be the book, I’ll be the binding.
You be the words, I’ll be the rhyming.
While I was feeling such a wreck, I thought of losing my mind.
While I was feeling such a mess, I thought the sun never shines.”
I feel her tense little body, growing too quickly for her clothes to contain, relax as she settles into the warmth of my body—the little spoon to my big spoon. She is upset and refusing to wear pants this morning. She doesn’t want to go to school today and thinks that by refusing to get dressed that I won’t make her go. I stroke her hair and continue singing softly, her stress melting away into the bed and her breathing evens into a slower, steadier rhythm.
For a brief moment, she is no longer two, but much younger. That is the power that mothers have over their children—we can make them feel like babies again. A mother’s embrace is so powerful that we can transport our children from wherever they are to a safe harbor. A mother’s embrace can be warm and comforting like no other. She remembers the song.
“You’ve got my love to lean on darling.
All the days
All of our days
Love is a shelter.
Love is a cause.
Love goes on forever.
Yeah, Love will lead us all.
Love! It is our honor.
Love! It is our all.
Love goes on forever.
Yeah, love it is our home.”
Calm down, little one. You are safe with me. The little spoon is now completely relaxed, and I am reluctant to break the spell. This moment won’t last but a moment more. We are already running late if I am to get them to school on time. She is still pantless after all and I know the argument that was just forgotten will quickly bubble to the surface once again.
For now, though, we are quiet. We are still. And I am your home.