Friday, July 31, 2009
She doesn't remember...
Every mom of every newborn baby can probably rattle off a list of items that she couldn't live without.
For some, it might be the Diaper Genie, or the bottle warmer, or just the Playtex nurser.
For me, it was a simple little CD.
There was a time when that one CD was the most important thing in our house. We knew where it was at all times. We even took it with us on trips.
Thanks to iTunes and the three iPods and one iPhone in my house, CDs have been made pretty much obsolete. That once indispensable disk has spent the last several years in a basket with a bunch of other old ones.
In passing the other day, Marty asked if I still had it. Of course, I do. I knew exactly where it was.
So I got it out and dusted it off. And last night, we had Lora Leigh play it (on the computer, no less).
She listened.... And then she said the words that about broke my heart, "What is this? I've never heard this before."
She doesn't remember...
How could she not remember?
By the time she was a year old, Lora Leigh had virtually memorized the words to every song on this CD. So had I ...
It was Linda Ronstadt's "Dedicated to the One I Love," a collection of songs that with the word "baby" in the titles or that were otherwise suitable to be sung to a baby.
Besides the re-arrangements of "We Will Rock You," and "In My Room," there's "Be My Baby," "Baby I Love You," "Angel Baby," and, the title track, "Dedicated to the One I Love."
(Each night before I go to bed my baby...)
Linda managed to turn all of them into soft, sweet lullabies, much to the delight of many a mom.
It quickly became one of my favorite CDs -- and my number one indispensable baby item. I have since gifted it to just about every new mom I've known since Lora Leigh was born.
It's not just that the music is cool, it also provided some of my most cherished memories of my baby's first months of life -- thanks to the one-time Queen of Rock and Roll.
Each night before she went to bed, my baby and I would rock (literally) to this entire CD -- from start to finish. It was our night time ritual. I would take her into the nursery, sit in my big white wicker rocking chair, push play and rock (and sing) my baby to sleep.
Sometimes, it actually worked...
After listening to the closing song, a soft and sweet version of "Good Night," I usually was able to lift her gently from my lap and place her in her crib. I would softly tuck her in, then I would tiptoe out.
Sometimes we had to hit play twice.
Sometimes we had to hit it three times.
Even as a little baby she seemed to love the music, Linda's voice, the soft and soothing rhythms. She never squirmed to get out of my arms. The only thing she ever fought was the sleep part.
Then there was the night when she was about 18 months old, when I was certain she had fallen asleep against my chest, after listening to "Good Night" for the second or third time.
Suddenly, I heard this tiny little voice singing along with the music.
As she got a little older, she was able to sing every word. So could I.
I sometimes wonder if this is, perhaps, the reason Lora Leigh loves music and singing so much. She has a beautiful little voice, a natural soprano, that is beautiful whether she is mimicking Hannah Montana or asking for something to eat. She has taken singing lessons and made her stage debut when she was 5.
But it has been a long, long time since I have been able to rock my baby to sleep.
She got very big, very quickly. Almost overnight, it seems. She no longer can fit in my lap. And, somewhere along the way, she decided it was no longer her favorite place to be.
And there is a stage -- complete with lights -- where the rocking chair used to be.
But listening to that CD, and all of those one-time favorite tunes, all the memories of those long, music-filled nights came flooding back to me -- but not to her.
I remembered those first days of staring into her face, not quite believing that she was really here and really mine.
I remembered the first smiles, the first sounds.
I remembered those first looks that told me that she knew I was her mom, no matter what Mother Nature said.
I remembered when her curls suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
I sure wish someone had told me that I would only be able to hold my daughter for about three years...
But I sure am grateful that I held her every single chance I got -- even if it meant hitting the "repeat" button more than once.