Thursday, April 11, 2013
every night, after jeff and i pull evie out of her bubble bath and get her ready for bed—put her pajamas on, brush her teeth, say goodnight to the duck nightlight that illuminates the bathroom—she sinks into my lap and we read book after book, swaying in the rocking chair my grandfather made. the chair is beautifully crafted from cherry and maple, and it has just the right squeak. (all rocking chairs are supposed to squeak, according to grandpa.)
this week, evie's favorite book is the very hungry caterpillar, so that's what we read first. she loves the second page because she gets to shout "pop!" after i read "one sunday morning, the warm sun came up and—"
i laugh every time.
after the books are read and the lights are low and i'm still not quite ready to say goodnight, i sing. i'm the world's worst singer, but i sing anyway because that's what mamas do. they sing lullabies to their babies before bed. around here, it's usually twinkle twinkle little star, but this week, i decide to perform an old favorite: you are the best thing by ray lamontagne.
it's hard to sing, and every few words i can tell i'm completely off-key, but evie seems to like it. love it, actually. as i make my way through the chorus, her eyes lock with mine. she's listening so intently, so deliberately, and looking at me with such purpose i'm convinced she knows something i don't, that she's trying to tell me something with her eyes. maybe she just wants me to know that she was meant for me, and i was meant for her, and we were always meant to be here, singing and rocking like this, together.
our eyes don't part until the last deviant note leaves my lips.
and then she asks, "eh? eh?" (that's evie speak for again, please.) she wants more. i'm stunned. not only does she like my singing, she likes it enough for an encore.
and then i remember, babies don't care about their moms' imperfections: how many freckles or wrinkles they have, whether they're too tired to put on make-up, or whether they have god-awful singing voices. babies just love their mamas. period.
as i begin round two of ray lamontagne—silently apologizing to jeff, who's downstairs and surely hearing my horrible singing through the baby monitor—i'm reminded of the unconditional love between mother and child. and i'm overwhelmed with happiness.