Girl Kneeling By Cradle by Vincent Van Gogh
My mom wrote a lullaby for each of us in the first months after our births. We like to tease my her that each lullaby is a direct reflection of what we were like as babies. Jaimie and I were fairly straightforward infants and we have fairly straightforward lullabies, a few sweet as sugar verses and a lovely chorus. Lindsay was the most difficult of all of us in the years leading up to kindergarten and her song is just three words sung over and over. It is the quick and frenzied repetition of a mamma that may not make it through one more night of her baby screaming. Daniel, final baby and only boy,
was is my mom's golden child. His lullaby has enough verses to fill a book. A long-adoring-never-leave-your-mamma-or-love-another-woman book.
My girls love to be sung to as the light leaves the day. I haven't written them a lullaby but I have given them my own. As I sing and brush their hair from their faces I remember the calm I felt when my mom did the same for me. No matter what the day held, I knew the night would bring her lovely voice. I don't know why it meant so much to me. I don't know why it means so much to my girls. Perhaps it is simply that sleep is a journey into the unknown and it is a little easier to bear with a song by your side.
When we don't sing my lullaby we sing this one, and it feels like it belongs to us.