Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bedtime Songs

These evenings just at the end of the year are long, and dark.

When Junebug is ready for bed, I take him up into his room, turn out the lights, and in the very dark, I sit with him in my lap on the rocking chair, and sing him songs.

We've been singing carols as bedtime songs for weeks now, and we begin with a rousing "Rudolph," and he bellows "Like Pinocchio!" at the proper time. But we slow down, moving from "Angels We Have Heard on High" to "Away in the Manger" and down to "Silent Night."

These are perfect lullabies, because I do still feel them profoundly, and the long round notes relax us both.

On "O Little Town of Bethlehem," Junebug nestles into the crook of my arm, and when we move to our regular lullabies, with lines like "rest your head / close to my heart / never to part," he lays his right ear on my chest, and with his left hand reaches up to stroke my beard.

The unsentimental part of me recognizes that the vibrations of my chest cavity and my open mouth register those baritone lyrics most perceptibly at these places, when the darkness is least familiar, and most unsettling.

But I also know that, vice versa, he is feeling my words and listening to my heart sing just for him.

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