Lullaby and Goodnight

When I read the prompt for the week for The Red Writing Hood over at The Red Dress Club, I knew I had to write a post for it. I knew immediately what I would say.

The prompt is:
Write a piece (fiction or non-fiction) inspired by a song. It can be any song of your choosing. If it is not clear from your story what the song is, throw us a bone and put a note at top or bottom of your post to let us know what you picked.

When Ethan was a baby, he was cranky a lot of the time. Unlike my twins, I couldn’t just lay him down in the crib to let him fall asleep on his own. He wanted to be held and rocked, and if you tried to put him down, sometimes (who am I kidding?) most of the time he would wake up crying.

I spent a lot of time rocking him to sleep in his room. I spent a lot of times singing to a crying baby. And I’ll be honest, I got tired of singing the old school lullabies to him; partly because they’re kind of boring, but mostly because I don’t know all of the lyrics. Or the right ones, for that matter.

So I started to sing him slow songs that I knew the words to. These three will forever remind me of the time I spent rocking Ethan for what seems like miles and miles in that rocking chair:

Anna Begins by Counting Crows
Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns by Mother Love Bone
If you know the lyrics (or click the links to read them) than you know these are far from children’s lullabies. But I knew the words and the songs were much longer than regular lullabies.
The time I spent singing those three songs and rocking in that chair will forever and always represent new motherhood.
They will represent being more tired than I’ve ever been at any other time in my life.
They will represent rare and special alone time that a mother shares with her child and always cherishes.
They will be a constant reminder of tiny fingers grasping one of mine.
They will be a constant reminder of me rubbing my cheeks and chin on his soft little head. The hairs, like little threads of silk, tickling me and soothing my nerves at the same time.
They will be a constant reminder of me enjoying complete and utter silence for the first time in my life. Of falling asleep with my son. Of waking up, but not wanting to put him down.
Those songs will always hold a very special place in my heart. And believe it or not, when Ethan hears them now, he remembers them too. “Those are my baby songs”, he says. “That’s the Chloe song, mommy!”
And so it goes…

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Comments

  1. Lovely. Just lovely.

    I used to sing Iron Man to D1, just replaced Iron Man with her name.
  2. I could never remember the words to anything when I was tired. I'm impressed you could even think that straight! :)
  3. Anna begins is one of my favourite songs. A friend and I used to sing it together all the time back in my university days. It has that one line that is so good to sing (and you sound really good after a few glasses of wine)....I love that you sang these songs instead of the usuals.
  4. Megan (Best of Fates) says:
    Now I feel as though I have to out-awesome gopopgo in the parenting department, so for my children I shall be singing America, *#!? Yeah but replacing America with their name.

    Sigh, I can wait to have children. They're gonna turn out so well.
  5. So sweet, Natalie. Oh the things I used to (and still) sing to my boys. Mostly made up songs :)
  6. Soge shirts says:
    Their needs to be a cd or something of songs that actually do put a baby to sleep. The lullaby that includes a bough breaking and the baby falling was probably not very comforting to babies.
  7. moveovermarypoppins.com says:
    So very sweet!

    And I love that he remembers them.

    It always gets me when my small boy recognizes songs that are special, even out of context.
  8. Mrs. MidAtlantic says:
    I love that you sang to Ethan, how lovely! And your description of falling asleep is so sweet. It is also making me want a snuggle with Laura right now...
  9. My son had colic. BIG. TIME and nothing we did would stop the crying...both him and me. Anyways, the times when he'd finally settle I'd always sing Wonderwall by Oasis. Why? I'm not sure. It was just soothing.
    But the lyrics kind of hit me hard when we went camping this summer and he wanted me to keep singing the song to him as he fell asleep...
    They go "I don't believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now. And all the roads we have to walk are winding. And all the lights that lead us there are blinding. There are many things that I'd like to say to you but I don't know how. But maybe, you're going to be the one that saves me. And afterall, you're my wonderwall"
    I have postpartum depression and anxiety and it's true...he saves me every single day.
    Sorry for the long reply. I just loved this post and felt in a share-y kind of mood.
    Also, while I'm at it...my favourite colour is purple.
  10. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) says:
    Such a sweet post! I sing all sorts of songs to our girls, too. I don't always know all the words...sometimes I have to make some of them up, but that's OK, too. The girls don't know the difference!

    And that's so cool that your little man remembers those songs!
  11. One of my daughters was like that when she was a baby and I'd used to sing Sarah McLachlan songs to her. My oldest, while I didn't sing them to her as a baby, used to listen to the Cranberries all the time and would want me to play the same couple of songs over and over. To this day she still listens to them and she's almost 15 now!
  12. MommyNaniBooboo says:
    Awww, how awesome. I sang tons of made up songs to my son. He was colicky, so it was as much to soothe him as to keep me from going insane!
    Lovely post.
  13. I sang Maddie Christmas songs. Weird right? She had a lot of eating problems, and I'd sit in her glider while she twirled my hair and I sang to her.
  14. I feel kind of sad b/c I can't sing AT ALL. I am horrible. Can't carry a tune, sound like a sick cat when I try! But this is a lovely post and I love the imagery---of your cheeks and his baby hair, etc....so sweet!
  15. The Flying Chalupa says:
    I can't believe he remembers the songs! Music is such a wonderful vehicle for memories, isn't it? I did a lot of humming because I can't remember lyrics for the life of me.
  16. I can't sing. It's truly William Hung of American Idol terrible. I didn't want to damage my children so I would tell them stories. As horrible as it seemed at the time when Maren would not sleep at night for like 2 years, sometimes I miss it.
  17. That is so sweet.
    I'm trying to remember if I sang to my daughter. I don't think so. And the grandson? Will not allow singing. Now that I'm less concerned about my lack of voice.
  18. We had to sing to my oldest to get her to go to sleep. I sang whatever songs I could remember, mostly Christmas carols LOL
  19. Aging Mommy says:
    It is so very funny how they remember those songs from baby days - I swear also they remember the songs they heard most in the womb too. When I was pregnant I listened to the then new Gwen Stefani CD and it is now one of my daughter's favorites.

    Lovely post Natalie, reminding me of those sweet moments of new baby days.
  20. tripleZmom says:
    I used to sing show tunes because I am horrible at remembering lyrics. I think it is AWESOME that you sang Mother Love Bone and the Cure (Counting Crows seems kind of perfect for lullabies, actually).
  21. Oh it is just lovely to read this... i can bet the real experience would have been so much more.
  22. My first born was a rocker. He couldn't go to sleep without being rocked. We went through nursery songs fairly quickly so like you, I moved on to my favorites. To this day, he loves hearing some James Taylor.
    I also remember singing to my youngest when she would nurse. My middle son told me she brought Joy to the World so that's what Isang. It wan't the xmas version though. She's the only 5 year old I know who knows who Jeremiah is.
  23. Sue Campbell says:
    Nora was the same as Tater. I always sang "And I Love Her," by the Beatles:

    I give her all my love,
    That's all I do,
    And if you saw my love,
    You'd love her too.

    Funny how all love songs turn out to be about kids once you're a parent.
  24. So, so sweet. My song for X? The jingle from Coke: I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a coke. And keep it company - that's the song I sing..

    NO idea why, but it worked!
  25. mommylebron says:
    It's been so long (my youngest is 9) but I remember with my oldest, who is now 13, he had to be touching me to sleep. Literally. I would nurse him to sleep and then I would have to make sure some part of me was touching some part him. For about 9 months. It's so sweet that those songs have sentimental meaning for your son now. Rock-A-Bye-Baby is sooo over-rated. ;)
  26. Beautiful! I sing the most random songs to Lucas, but my favorites are "Black Bird" by the Beatles and "Anna Begins", too. :)