10 March 2009

Family Note: Lullabies of Joy

My nephew and his wife have blessed my family with a new baby who is a great joy to us all. My sister melts in tender sweetness toward her granddaughter as she did toward her grandson. Aunt B makes photo collages. Her daddy teaches the family to admire her tiny muscles. Her big brother adores his baby sister and pauses to kiss her head whenever he rushes past in pursuit of a 5-year old's important business. We all admire her large, long-fingered hands and dream of her career as a pianist... or a basketball player. And the family speaks of past, present, and future with gratitude. What a thing of wonder! A precious bundle of joy wrapped in love and hope and faith.

When I talked to my mother on the telephone following her first visit with the baby, her voice was full of joy. She sounded decades younger than her 82 years. As she recounted holding the baby, she relived the experience. She sang the lullabies she had sung to the baby and I heard again the mother's voice of my childhood. What a gift of joy for a woman of sixty years--to hear her mother sing lullabies!
Niece BK posted a video of my Mother singing to our bundle of Joy.

My brother and sister and I grew up with a mother who sang--say any word and she knew a song. She literally sang and danced around the kitchen. And she read to us; she read poetry to us. Long before I could make sense of the words, I learned the rhythms of Longfellow's Hiawatha.

Richer than I you never can be
I had a mother who read to me.

Read Strickland Gillilan's poem, The Reading Mother at

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