Same Love. Different Expression.

Today, I'd simply like to record a small ritual -- a moment that ends every day in our household.  Each night when I tuck my younger daughters into bed, I sing a special I Love You song, one that I remember my parents singing to me.  And each night, my youngest cups her hands on my face while I sing, and she sings along with me.

We sing this nightly duet, the two of us, her sweet face just inches from my own, her sweet voice offering the daily reminder, "You're my mommy, You're my mommy, and I love you," and those sweet little sticky hands searching my face, touching my hair, and otherwise wheedling into my personal space.

We won't always sing this song to each other.  I already see it as I sit on the edge of my ten-year-old's bed each night.  She talks about friends and school and life.  I listen and ask questions and let her share anything that's on her heart before I brush her hair away from her forehead, give a gentle hug and kiss, and quietly close the door behind me so she can read for another twenty minutes before she turns off her own light.

Same deep love, just a different expression of it.

I now know how quickly these years pass.  When my youngest finished preschool yesterday, tears stung my eyes.  You can't stop time.  You can't keep your baby a baby.  You can't forget that your entire job as a parent is to prepare your children to leave you, to prepare them to step into adulthood able to handle themselves with grace and maturity and kindness and faith and competence and good humor.

But today, I simply want to record that before this great leap takes place when my children somehow morph into adults and I'm reflecting back not merely on a decade of parenting, but a lifetime, there once was a daily ritual when I tucked my babies into bed, settled down beside them, and sang from the deepest place in my heart.

And this little one sang back to me.


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5 comments

  1. Oh such a precious way to end your days.. and yes, we must record these beautiful moments with our kids while we are in them- embracing the joy of this season of parenting!!

    And then we somehow transition our expressions of love- so seamlessly through the ages and stages of motherhood. Your story made me think of how this has transpired with me and my own loves. <3

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    1. I really don't want this bedtime routine to end, Chris, but I know it will. Even so, it'll be replaced by something else good.

      I simply didn't want to forget, you know?

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  2. Awwwhhhh, this touched me so. I use to sing You are my sunshine to my daughter when she was younger, it stopped around age 12. She's 20 now we still have a night time routine but it is very different. I know I will blink my eyes soon and she will have a home if her own so I cherish these moments now more than ever. Great share. Time does fly!

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    1. Oh, it does fly by! I'll blink and then mine will be 20 years old, I sense!

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  3. Beautiful! I still lie down to read with my almost 8 year old.She is perfectly capable of reading on her own, but I don't want to let go if it yet. And, my oldest will be a teenager in August! Yikes!

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