Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Babies Don't Keep

I've seen this on some other blogs, and I think I even read it in a parenting magazine once. I don't know anything about copyright laws, so here's hoping I don't go to jail for sharing this with you. That's my latest irrational fear, that I'm going to go to jail for stealing music on the internet. People really do jail time for that! I think. And unless the guy from Prison Break is there to comfort me, I am terrified of jail, that's the main reason I never did any of the standard teenage stuff when I was younger.

Anyway. This poem is perfect for me. Makes my eyes sting every single time I hear it.

Song for a Fifth Child
By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton


Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

No, I don't like to get on the floor and play barbies with the kids, and I don't particularly enjoy taking them to the park, or any of that other good-mother-crap. It's just not my thang. But when one of those big kids comes over to me and says "I wanna hold you" (which is what they say, we don't know why they can't say 'I want you to hold me' but whatev) I do it. Always. Almost always. And Warren...I could hold that guy forever.

In one of the loss classes I took during my oncology days, the leader was telling us about one of her patients who'd lost a baby at about two months. This mama went to the grocery store a few months later and was frantically grabbing up watermelons and cantelopes and bags of apples. She later told the leader that she was a madwoman, in a total frenzy, absolutely panicked. People stared at her and asked her if anything was wrong. She told the leader later what she'd been doing.

She'd forgotten what if felt like to hold her baby. The weight of him, the way he rested in her arm. So she went to the grocery store to try and get back that feeling. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE!!!

So, how blessed am I! My children, three out of three, are all perfectly healthy, they want for nothing (they may disagree) and they're even good looking. So yes, everything else can wait. Because babies- and toddlers and preschoolers- do not keep.

PS-if your heart is breaking about that lady in the produce section, I later learned that a lot of bereavement groups have special teddy bears that they fit small sandbag weights into for a desired 'heaviness.' Terrible that such a service is needed, yes, but oh, how wonderful that it is available for those women.

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