Just Write {164}

December 2, 2014

I can’t sing. (No really, I really cannot sing, it’s okay.)

She can’t remember all the words yet. She’s just three, but like many preschoolers, she loves the made-up song, the timeless songs, the carols, the rock and roll. Anything with a beat, a melody, a tune…

She will try to carry it around inside her and she lets it out with that abandon that only children are capable of, in the shower, outside, in the store, at the kitchen table.

Elsie Jane would sing for the whole world, as long as the whole world would watch. And the whole world should really watch, because she’s magic.

She walks around with her pants falling down, because she’s in that going-from-pudgy-to-string-bean stage. She turns and says, look at my butt! And she laughs. She is the little sister of two brothers. She is also born to express, stay vulnerable, joke around, say it like it is, be herself.

At night we read a book or two and then she flops back and pulls her fleece purple and pink blanket up under her chin. She says, Lie down by me now, Mama….don’t go. So I flop too, not quite so much out of abandon, but because I’m nearing forty and flopping is often the only option. Gracefulness in movement was never really my strong suit anyhow.

Last night I put my head on her ginormous yellow care bear, and I snuggled up next to her and started to “kickle her back”. For some reason, after many moons of not attempting it, I started in on Twinkle, Twinkle. I haven’t done that since she was much smaller, when I would rock her. Then it stopped, all of the baby things stopped. She started to ask me NOT to sing, and I could not blame her. She started to get right into bed, forgoing the usual routine of demanding to be rocked in order to sleep. The routine that came along as many of these do, just because it was so hard to get through the baby stage, especially with this one. Oh, her baby stage was so hard. It just was. I don’t look back and wish it away for one single second, but I will not pretend it was easier than I thought at the time. It wasn’t. She wasn’t. I wasn’t. We just got through.

Twinkle, twinkle….little star, I whisper-sang, and she joined in, knowing so many of the words, peacefully attempting timing them with mine.

How I wonder what you….are. 

Up...(I would pause to let her figure out what was next) above the world so high… 

oh her sweet little voice, careful and sure,

and of course I got choked up.

Like a diamond in the sky. 

Elsie Jane is a diamond in the sky. Her cut and clarity, blinding. Her beauty, miraculous.

Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are…

My Grandpa always loved the song You Are My Sunshine. He would sing it, especially in his last years, like it was the only and best song ever made. They are so simple, and ordinary, these songs. And yet you can sing them at night, in the dark, folded together closely and they lose all their over-use, all their boring rhymes. They lose simplicity and become every deep and important thing between yourself and a child.

They wake us up as we go to sleep.


This is the 164th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {New here? Please see the details.} I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. (Then link back to this post in your Just Write post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.)

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{ 1 comment }

Gina December 2, 2014 at 11:17 am

I can’t carry a tune either though I believe I can when I’m alone in my car. It must be hereditary because my mom can’t sing either! You Are My Sunshine is my song to my daughter (now 24), and Petula Clark’s My Love is the one I sang to my son (now 21). I think I will break them out when they come home for Christmas! Thanks for the sweet reminder!!! (Wish I could participate but I am down a computer, and it’s hard to blog the way I want from a phone.)
Gina recently posted..Didn’t Fry the Turkey, But I Did Fry My Computer

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