Singing to Babies

Sweetly and softly she sang, gazing out the living room window of a small three-bedroom home in a Mexican neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. The street outside was iridescent from the desert heat. And the grass was parched, crispy, and brown. A thirsty palm tree rose up in the far left corner of the lot. Its leaves were still, the air was still. Sweat rolled down the back of the singing four-year-old’s neck, soaking her striped T-shirt.
She stopped singing for a moment to look down at the sleeping baby resting on her chest. She smiled and gently stroked the baby’s soft, velvety pink cheek. She took a deep breath as the baby cooed. She smiled again as the baby’s eyes fluttered, as if he were dreaming. “What do babies dream about,” she wondered, as the baby moved his lips in search of food. Dreams, how fascinating they are. We all have them. From the time we are babies. She pondered the meaning of dreams as the baby became absolutely silent, except for the almost indistinguishable breath through his tiny nose.
Slowly and gracefully she rocked back and forth in her child-sized rocking chair. She sang another song to her little brother, Luke. His wispy blond hair fluttered with the movement. His content face was at peace with the world. In the arms of his older but young sister, he was protected and loved. Together, brother and sister were a cocoon of dreams.
Time stood still, as still as the palm leaves, the hot desert air, and the sleeping baby. It was as if the little girl’s voice was suspended in time, as she sang lullaby after lullaby, and as she rocked baby Luke through all of his baby dreams. She knew many songs by heart. And from her heart she sang them, to all of her younger brothers and sisters. Some of them she had learned in church, some of them in school, and some from cassette tapes around the house-many borrowed from the library. She could sing for hours, and she often did. She was a keeper of children, and a little mother to many. Her name was Bridget, and she was a steward of others’ dreams.
It has been said that a friend is someone who can sing a song back to you when you have forgotten the words. My little brothers and sisters are some of my best friends. And my dad made me believe in my own voice, and my own song. So to this day, I’m not afraid to use my voice, especially if I can use it to serve a greater purpose, and sing a song with others.

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2 thoughts on “Singing to Babies

  1. Thank you for sharing this snapshot of your life. It was a nice way to start what’s shaping up to be a long day.

    And the song, from beginning to end,
    I found again in the heart of a friend.
    — H W Longfellow

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