Bedtime can be a difficult affair for a kiddo. My daughter is no exception, and so I’ve recently tried to ease the transition from zipping around and playing to sleeping by rocking with her in the dark and singing to her.
It doesn’t sound like an earth shattering fix, every parent is supposed to sing to their child, right? But I realized, she’s at the stage where she is learning to piece words together, say her first sentences, and I believe it’s my job to help her hear positive words in her life. Along with the hymns and traditional songs I learned and loved growing up, I’ve tried to sing happy songs with meaning behind them, that will encourage her and others who listen.
So I chose to sing Sing to her. It was originally written for Sesame Street, but when I sing it, I perform imagination karaoke with the lovely alto tones of Karen Carpenter, half of the brother-sister duo, The Carpenters.
When my girl and I rock together, I sit and sing, moving in time to the beat. Her head nods and often drops to my chest. Then I put her to bed with a kiss and a prayer. It’s a solo show. But yesterday I had one of my greatest pleasures realized: she was playing and singing to herself, as she often does. However, instead of belting Let It Go at the top of her lungs, she turned her head in my direction and said, “Sing, Mama?”
“What do you want to sing, babes?”
“You can sing a song.”
“May-a simple, last-awhole-lye-loooong?”
I smiled, she grinned, and kept singing her version of the song, words mixed and mispronounced, and a mess. It was both a proud and sobering moment for me.
She listens to me.
As a youngest child, this isn’t something I’m used to. I’ve never been a role model. And now I am. How exhilarating and terrifying is that? So I’m in search of songs that will continue that positive influence. And I’m doubling up an effort to not let discouraging words escape as I speak, and to not talk badly about myself, which I realize I frequently do, for some reason, in the name of modesty.
I want my daughter to thrive and be confident in what she naturally has to offer to our world. I can’t fully do that unless I remember that I, too, must be confident as well.