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Lullabies for babies, grown-ups and everyone in between!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Lullaby Angel

It was the first time in years I’d actually made it to bed before 10 p.m.  It’s always a goal, but somehow it doesn’t happen. Now, however, there was strong motivation: my toddler grandson who sometimes sleeps all night and sometimes doesn’t. You don’t fool around at these times—it’s a matter of survival.

Sure enough, after a few hours of sleep, I heard the battle cry: “Bubbie, Bubbie!”  While it was, thrillingly, recognition of the bond that we had formed---he remembered to call for me instead of his out-of-town parents---I resolved to not give in. It took eight minutes for this resolve to crumble. I went in and picked him up.

We sat in the big chair in his room and I rocked and hummed a lullaby. He settled down and I slowly moved to put him back in the crib. No way. Another lullaby, more settling, another move, more refusal. After a few rounds of this I lovingly but firmly put him back in his crib to scream it out. I admitted defeat, and questioning my right to the title of Lady Lullaby, I slunk out of the room.

Just then a 23-year-old angel appeared. Her name was Veronica, and we’d signed her on just in case this happened for four nights in a row. Young parents do this many nights in a row---I did too, once upon a time---but now this grandmother becomes a useless zombie after not sleeping for a couple nights. To save us all from that fate, the angel offered to take over.

I heard soft singing and the screams gradually turned to whimpers. As I started to relax and fully appreciate being horizontal, the singing continued and the whimpering grew quieter. Songs flowed on and on, one after another, until finally there was real quiet.

In the morning I hugged the angel and asked what she was singing all that time. She didn’t remember any lullabies, she said, so she just went through all the songs she knew: from high school and college musicals she’d been part of; the hit songs of her teen-age years; church hymns and fight songs; and finally all the music from “Les Mis,” sung lullaby style.

The words didn’t matter and the tunes didn’t matter---it was the sweetness, the joy of singing, the loving feelings, and the youthful endurance that came through. This is what the lullaby instinct is all about---this is the heart of lulling a baby to sleep.

And tonight, back in my own bed, I wish his parents---and all parents---patience, endurance, and a memory full of songs of all kinds.

Sweet dreams to young and old,

1 comment:

Jade Graham said...

provide a back story. What came to me next was a wave of gratitude for the various Native American tribes, Lullaby Babies

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