the comfort of a song

At the time I had my first child, I had several friends who hadn’t reached that stage of life. They were still living the life my husband and I left behind when we brought our baby home.

But not being parents didn’t hold any of them back from wanting to share in our excitement. A couple of weeks after our daughter’s birth, one of those friends came to visit. At some point, she handed me a CD. I remember being caught off guard. Everyone had been bringing something small and sweet for the baby and here instead was a gift for me.

I wasn’t surprised though; it was just like her to be so thoughtful. She went on to explain she had put together a collection of songs to “keep me company” when I was up with the baby in the night. For not being a parent herself, she could not have chosen more fitting words.

At that point, my parents had returned home and my husband had returned to work. My baby and I were just beginning the process of navigating long, sleepless nights on our own. And I was struggling with how hard I was finding it. I was disappointed I didn’t find it easier. I was hard on myself for not knowing how to settle her and I resented her for the loneliness that would over take me in the quiet of night.

I don’t remember when I found the CD and decided to play it while the baby and I were doing our ritual back-and-forth middle of the night walk. I did remember my friend’s words when she gave it to me. My baby was swaddled and held close to my ear so I could listen for the sound of sleepy breathing. And then the song that would become ours began to play. I learned the words; I sang it to her every night.

I was reminded of how much music means to me, of how much I want to share that gift with my own children. And I was so touched my friend had helped to start that journey for me. I don’t know if she realizes her gift has been extended to three more children; that I’ve sung those sweet words in the quiet of night three more times. I do know when the time comes for her to rock a baby in the dark, her beautiful gift will be returned.

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Louise Gleeson is a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her professional portfolio can be viewed at www.louisegleeson.com and you can follow along as she shares stories from everyday life on her blog at www.latenightplays.com.  You can also find her on twitter @louisegleeson

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2 Comments »

  1. babyyums said

    What a beautiful gift for a new parent. When I read this blog post I was excited. I have a dear friend of my who is expecting in April. Her and I have known one another for a very long time. I think this would be a very fitting gift for when her new little baby boy arrives! Thank-you Louise for sharing such a special moment.
    Crystal 🙂

  2. […] the comfort of a song […]

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