Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bedtime with Sydney

Last night, Sydney and I settled in for our bedtime routine. (Now, any idea of a Summer "routine" is a bit of an oxymoron. Most of the time, a scheduled bedtime and wake-up-time are shot to heck. And Sydney, as third children often go, is not much on "schedules" since she kinda just goes-with-the-flow, but still we try...)

After getting cleaned up and dressed for bed, we laid down underneath her Princess covers and pulled out our bedtime story for the night. My choice was Caps for Sale, a classic that both McKenna and Delaney loved but that, amazingly for some reason, I had never read to Scout yet. I knew she'd love it, and I was right. "What's it about, Mommy?" she asked as we got started (she is big these days on getting answers from the get-go) and I explained that the "big moment" came when we discovered what was up in the trees. Her eyes got as big as dishplates when she saw the monkeys up in the branches at the height of the story; she didn't expect that, I think. She laughed and laughed, and mimicked the monkeys as they shook their hands at the cap peddler.

Then, it was time for a bedtime prayer. ("God bless Delaney, and McKenna, and Mommy, and my daddy. And my kitty cats. And my friends.")

Then, Sydney said, "I want a lullaby, Mommy." (She has become, all of a sudden, very big on calling me Momm-eee with the eeees all stretched out. And Gary, who has always been "Poppy" to all the girls, is now being called "Daddy" by her about half of the time. I think she has succumbed to the peer pressure, in hearing other friends call their fathers Daddy, but I'm hoping she reverts back to Poppy soon. Being different, it's somehow more special to me.)

I asked her which one she wanted--"Where are you going?" or "Rock a bye baby"?--and she requested the first. So, as she pushed her little back into me and grabbed my hair with her fingers (a sure sign that she's sleepy), I began the lullaby...

Where are you going, my little one?
little one?
Where are you going, my darling my own?
Turn around and you're one,
turn around and you're four.
Turn around and you're a young girl,
walking out the door.
Turn around, turn around,
turn around and you're a young girl, walking out the door.

Where are you going, my little one?
little one?
Where are you going, my darling my own?
Turn around and you're young,
turn around and you're grown.
Turn around and you're a young wife,
with babes of your own.
Turn around, turn around,
turn around and you're a young wife, with babes of your own.

She made a little sigh and turned around to face me. "I love you, Mommy," she said. I told her I loved her too and then she scrunched up her nose and asked, "what's a babe?" I told her it was a another way to say "baby" and that the song was about how little girls grow up and, before you know it, they have their own babies. And that she'd do that someday.

And I told her that I'd never heard the song until her Poppy told it to me. Her Gan Gan (Gary's grandmother) used to sing it to him when he was a little boy; and then he sang it to McKenna, and then to Delaney, and now to her.

And then, after lying there for a few seconds quietly, she said, "I think that Turn Around is a sad song."

"The little girl goes away and walks out the door, and doesn't know where her Mommy is," she explained to me.

She almost sounded like she was going to cry as she said it.

And I almost cried when she said it too, because that lullaby has always made me a little bit sad too. Not from Sydney's interpretation of a little girl lost from her parent, but from the idea that little girls grow up way too quickly. And because I know it's true.

"I guess it is a little sad," I said to her, "but I still like it a lot."

"Me too," she answered, and turned back around, burrowed her head in my chest, and sighed a little I'm-so-sleepy sigh. And, in moments, she was sound asleep...her breathing deep and eyes fluttering, seemingly full of four-year-old thoughts and dreams.

And before I got up to go to my own bed, I said a little prayer of thanks for a little girl who still calls me Mommmeeeee and tells me she loves me and can't imagine a day when she would want to walk out the door away from me.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time and rarely do I leave a comment, but this post really got to me. I have 3 girls also, 6, 4 and 5 months. They are growing up so fast talking about how they are going to be 7 and 5 and pretty soon the 6 year old will be a young adult. It makes me cry when she talks like this.

Your lullaby says it all, do you know if I can get it on a cd somewhere. I do a slide show of picture of the girls from the past year, and that would fit in great with it. Thanks alot.

Jen from PA

Renee said...

This post made me cry, Cheryl. As you know all too well, they grow up entirely too fast and next thing you know, they just don't need us like they used to. Read my post from yesterday; that's exactly what it's about.

hippochick said...

How precious. I still miss my "little girls", especially today. My Gretchen still calls me Mommia somtimes and I love it. Her dad is sometimes Popsila. I love that the girls call Gary Poppy.

I just love your posts.

~hippo hugs~

Kathy said...

OMG! Now I'm crying! What a wonderful post!

Nina Diane said...

very sweet post Cheryl...and they grow up quickly. My girls are 26 and 21...awww...I miss them being little BUT....you know I have that awesome grandson so that's what makes the grown up part easier!

Cheryl Wray said...

Jen--Hey!! I do not have that song on CD (in fact, I've never heard it other than it being sung by Gan Gan and others in our family), but... I'm going to search around and see if I can find it anywhere online. Come back in and comment anytime! :-)

Renee--I know that you certainly understand. The growing up she goes by so quickly!

Pam--I LOVE Popsila. That is so cute!!


Nina--Everyone says grandchildren are even better,but I certainly can't imagine that. :-)

Monogram Queen said...

VERY sweet, poignant post Cheryl.
You know having one around the same age I can really relate to your feelings.

Adrienne said...

Awwwww you made me cry this morning!!!!

Gin said...

Beautiful post, Cheryl. AS a Mom I can appreciate your feelings. Hug that little girl for all of us.

Jenster said...

*sigh* My mother used to sing that song when I was little. It never touched me quite like it did after I became a mom.

What a precious moment between you and Sydney.

(Hey, Jen in PA! I'm a Jen in PA, too!)

Mississippi Songbird said...

Now, I'm crying..lolThanks for this sweet post.. It's a reminder of how precious our time with our chidren really is... Bunches of hugs and God bless you all..

camport said...

what a beautiful story. Sure to be scrapped, right?? You haven't posted any pages lately, hint hint.


Cheryl Wray said...

Queen--I knew that you also would appreciate it. :-)

Adrienne--Aw, sorry....

Gin--You're too sweet. I think all Moms can relate.

Jenster--I had never heard that song when I was little. I love it though. (Two Jens in Pa. Cool!)

Songbird--Sorry I'm making you all cry today. lol

Chrissy--I know!!!! I am itching to scrap, but can't seem to find the time. As soon as school starts (I hope!).

Lynilu said...

This touched me, too. A very tender story, and regardless of how it interpreted, it will always be dear for you. I love that song, as well.

The special song in our family is "Sunrise, Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof." It is the same sentiment about children growing up. My daughter chose that to be sung at her wedding, and I almost didn't make it. :')

Kimberly said...

This is such a sweet post...brought tears to my eyes..thanks for sharing such sweet memories!

Anonymous said...


Ms.L said...

Oh what a dear,sweet child.
This post made me cry:)

Cheryl Wray said...

Lyilu--Ahh, that is another beautiful song too. Sydney really gets to me, I guess because she is my lone "baby" left.

Kimberly--Thanks! Glad it touched you.


Ms. L--She is a sweetie!

Auburn Kat said...

That is SO sweet! I really hope that my babies turn out like yours did!

Susie Q said...

What a precious post Cheryl. Yes, they do grow up so fast...so fast. The lullaby is a favorite of mine.