Today was a momentous day in our household. For the past five years, with the exception of date nights, working late, or traveling, I have sung Geo to sleep with Russian lullabies. Soviet-era songs from cartoons, folk music, and some I made up myself. Every bedtime. Holding him when he was a baby, then sitting on his bed or laying down hugging him, or lately bouncing on the yoga ball because of my giant belly... Always until he was all the way asleep. Sometimes getting frustrated if it took too long or if I walked out of the room and heard him whimper for me to come back.
I pushed through the frustration because of an instinctual pull to stick it out with him, knowing I’ll never have those first-years-of-life bonding opportunities again. Despite criticism that I coddle him or paranoia that I’m setting him up for unrealistic expectations of attachment. Still I believed that this time together was too precious to force to end sooner than needed. I didn’t know when it would, or how I would even surmount it, but trusted that it would flow. And with his baby sister almost here, the time has revealed itself.
She’ll be getting the bulk of the lullabies now... and he will be falling asleep more without me. He’s had plenty of practice with his dad and with my mom, but it’s a new chapter for me to watch him fall asleep while I’m home and not singing to him. I borrowed a CD player from his grandmother, put on a bedtime story, and he was out in fifteen minutes. Granted, I lay beside him and hugged him, but plan to wean him (and myself) off of that gradually. I might be able to still sit with him and nurse the baby while we listen to stories and songs, we’ll see what works. The important thing is he did totally fine tonight without my voice lulling him, and I owe a lot of it to his preschool routine too, where they lay down for their naps with recorded stories, so he’s already used to it.
When shaking my head about not figuring this out sooner, I realized that I take pride in having sung to him for five years. Feels like I’ve given him a part of my soul, a part of my innate essence and love of the Russian language. Even a love of the sentimental old Soviet idealism that I grew up with, a nuance I can’t quite explain, but something I feel in my heart every time I repeat the same kind and innocent words that comprise the poetry of the twentieth century creatives of my birthplace... if you know of Crocodile Gena or Kot Leopold you might know what I mean...
Something along the lines of:
“If you are kind,
But if you’re the opposite,
If you’re singing songs,
everything’s more joyful.
But if it’s the opposite,
Indeed I find the flow of life more joyful when there’s music in it. I hope my little son will always keep music in his heart. 💜
"Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us, can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it's really all about."
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