small things #37 ... lullabies
It's supposed to be a special time of the day.
My older girls are snuggled into their beds smelling like toothpaste and the sweet sweatiness of a fun-filled day. We've shared our bests and our leasts. We've read our bedtime books and stopped off at the potty "one more time". It's time to pray and sing and drift off to sleep.
They aren't tired yet. Ugh.
And so moments that have the potential to be precious and sacred turn into wrestling matches and stern whispers.
As I stand in the big girls's room, I lean my head leaning against the top rail of the bunk bed. My feet hurt and I would love sit down, but Norah wants me to rub her back. I start my song (again) only to be interrupted by yet another random question.
"Mommy? In the morning can you pack me my granola bar?"
I start again, "Little girl, tie on your angel wings and fly, fly, fly ..."
"Mommy? Why does my teacher use that pointer thing instead of her finger?"
"I don't know. Lay quietly, please."
I finally come to the last stanza, "Fly until you come to the love I am sending. Tomorrow will be on the other side. So ... fly..."
"Mommy? Here are my dirty socks." Lovely.
I walk out the door and remind my girls to head right to sleep. No talking tonight. Before I make it to the stairs, I hear an explosion of giggles and Norah walks out of the room for a quick drink.
Why do I bother??
I settle down on the edge of Aaron's bed. We sit in the dark and talk for a few minutes about how he "slammed it out of the park" during kickball and how excited he is for the weekend. I turn his radio down and he turns to rest his back. Resting with my hand on his chest, I start his song.
"Little boy ..."
"Mom. I don't think I need a song anymore."
My heart clenches and my throat closes tightly. I clench my jaw against sudden tears. I choke out a strangled, "Okay. Good night, Buddy," and head for the stairs.
Ten years of lullabies and now we're done. It was bound to happen, but I'm still caught off guard. This is the same boy who will be a fifth grader next year, but who made repeated excuses for the laziness of the tooth-fairy last month ... "Maybe he was in Timbuktu, Mom." I know that in the midst of his growing up we will see many of these traditions reach their maturity and fade away leaving a wonderful young man in their place, but it's bittersweet. Sometimes more bitter than sweet.
I make one more stop at the bedsides of my baby girls ... holding on to a few more years of lullabies.
Lullabies ... the end of the day. And for my boy, the end of an era.
The song in this post is one of Sara Groves' sweet lullabies. Read all the lines here ... and I challenge you not to sniffle or shed a tear!