Friday, May 22, 2009

Babies Don't Keep

This week, we have:
  • taken food to a friend across town
  • been to the Zoo
  • eaten too many french fries and brownies
  • went on two long walks with the new stroller
  • done about seven loads of laundry
  • visited the office, twice
  • played at a local park
  • vacuumed the third bedroom for the first time since we moved in

    Today I had more grand cleaning and organizing plans that I pushed aside for my little boy. And I'm so glad.

    I hope I will always have today's memory of holding feverish Jacob in our dwarf-size tippy-back armchair, with his body tucked under my arm, and reading almost the entire Rhyme Bible Storybook with him. To keep it going, I even filled in the gaps between each story with an explanation of how it fits into the larger picture of God's Big Story. Then, since he was sleepy but wouldn't sleep, I read to him in our big bed until he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore. Before I took a nap myself, I looked over at his little brother, conked out in his crib, and contentedly settled in for a short rest.

    Some wonderful moms have quoted the last stanza of the following to me before, but I didn't realize it was an entire poem until tonight. It's my new mantra. (See: dinner, which consisted of leftover bagels Gaines brought home from work.)

    Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
    Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
    Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
    Sew on a button and make up a bed.
    Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
    She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

    Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
    (lullaby, rock-a-bye, Lullaby loo).
    Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
    (pat-a-cake, darling, and peek-peek-a-boo).
    The shopping is not done and there's nothing for stew
    And out in the yard there is a hullabaloo.
    But I'm playing "Kanga" and this is my "Roo."
    Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
    (lullaby, rock-a-bye, lullaby loo).

    The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
    For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
    I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

    Ruth Hulburt Hamilton, 1958

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