Sing It Back

 Today's guest post is from Kristina of hitherto & henceforth.  

The creaking of the floorboards give her away as her feet hit the ground and she shuffles toward the door.  She has been up no less than four times already and my attitude is one of frustration and annoyance as I just want her to go.to.sleep.child.

As most moms, many of my to-do’s can only be accomplished once the children are in bed and I try to shield my “alone” time as much as possible. My patience has worn thin and I fight the urge to tuck her in huffily and just leave.

Instead I open the door, gather her into my arms and gently tuck her blankets around her. I know that she wants me to sing with her, but my brain is telling me to forgo the singing and just leave. That to-do list is waiting.  I resist the urge to cross items off my list and instead start singing.Her eyes droop with the slightest hint of slumber, yet she fights it--fights it hard.

I sing the same two songs every night—You Are My Sunshine and Edelweiss.  Rubbing her back I sing these words into her about how much she means to me.  Some nights we snuggle close and calm while others she cries and thrashes hoping the movement and whimpering will stave off sleep for just a few minutes more.

“Small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to mee…” I croon as she reaches up silencing me with her index finger.  “Ssssh, mama.  I sing.” Her tiny voice starts singing right along with me, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, happy, sky gray.”  I join in and sing with her, filling in the words when she stumbles, keeping us as in tune as a mom and a two year old can be.

We sing over and over again alternating between “You are my sunshine, you are my Ana, and you are my Mama.”  Eventually her words become few and her heavy lids close over eyes the color of French roast coffee and it’s just my voice echoing in the dark. I lose track of time repeating the melody over and over until I am assured that my departure from her bed won’t wake her.

Bending low I kiss her café-au-lait hair once more and whisper a breath of ‘I love you’ into her ear.  The door shuts and miraculously my to-do list hasn’t disappeared.  It is still there waiting for me.

For years we sing Him over our children in songs, Bible verses, and prayers.  We weep over them pouring out our lifeblood, praying that they will understand; that they will see Him through us.  Then one day and probably when we least expect it they start singing along with us, slowly at first, our voices blending together, filling in the blanks where they might not yet know the words.

Singing loudly in the good times and even louder in the hard times the words take root and eventually they start to sing on their own. Their tune echoes my own, but they add their own harmony to the melody I sang over them for so many years, making it their own.  For now, I’ll keep singing, waiting for that day that they can sing it back.

“I have no greater joy than that my children are walking in the truth.”  3 John 1:4

Kristina lives around the corner from her grandparents in the same small town in which she grew up. When she isn’t reading young adult fiction or folding the endless piles of laundry you can find her blogging at hitherto & henceforth. She also co-writes a blog for her church's youth group called rewired><amplify.

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