I just finished singing both girls to sleep. One of my fondest dreams has been to have my children fall asleep to the sound of my voice, though Willow never did as a baby. She would like me to sing for a while, but would always start to complain and then nurse to sleep. She was also very particular about which songs I would sing, and would fuss until I sang songs she liked. Of course, a few of my favorites were ones she would not put up with. Grace, on the other hand, loves any kind of song and will instantly shift her mood when sung to, as long as it's a fairly gentle tune and tone of voice.
Grace was fussy this evening, and so Brent ended up making the dinner. Frozen stuffed shells, sauce, cheese, garlic bread, and corn on the cob. Willow watched her video while Brent cooked and I calmed Grace. But then, right before dinner was ready to serve, Brent told me he wasn't feeling well and needed to lie down. I served the dinner for myself and Willow, and sat down. I felt disappointed not to be having our usual family time for dinner, since we only eat about 3 dinners a week together. Willow did some running back and forth but finally sat for a good portion of time and ate about 1/2 of a cob of corn, one of her favorites. Because of a late play date and baby fussing, dinner was late and Willow had apparently filled up on crackers. I ate my dinner with gusto however, being famished from the general duties of mothering and not having eaten since lunch. I kept Brent's portion warm, and Willow dutifully went to check on him a few times, but he stayed in bed. So I did the night time routine with the girls with him in bed asleep (though saying he would get up after the girls went to sleep). At some point I decided I'd better stand up and rock Grace rather than sitting with her in bed, and so I was standing over Willow's bed. Willow asked me about a song I'd sung earlier that day to put Grace down for a nap. The song, Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby, was in O Brother Where Art Thou and is one of my favorite lullabies. Of course I only know the chorus, and I don't even have that quite right, but I sing it over and over. Willow said "why does that song say vintobody baby?" I said "It says "There ain't nobody but the baby". She asked me to sing it to Grace, and I did. Then she asked me to say "Daddy's gone away and mama's gonna stay" instead of "Mama's gone away and Daddy's gonna stay". I did, and sang it over again for about 10 minutes, as I watched both Willow and Grace gradually fall asleep in the darkening room. Willow on her bed, limbs splayed like a game of pick up sticks, and Grace lying across my forearm with her arms wrapped around mine and her little hands clasped together. Both girls love to hold their little hands together, Grace especially. So there I was, my wonderful husband asleep after many days without enough rest, and two beautiful girls finally sleeping peacefully. The light in the room glowed with the setting sun, and I stood in that light feeling blessed and grateful beyond imagination for the love in that room.