Keeping our children safe is one of the biggest worries on a parents mind. From the moment they are conceived and we read of all the problems that can occur in the womb to their first day at nursery when we are afraid they will miss us. Or worse, that they won’t.
I had the usual mothering fears. I had never had a baby before, so the day we got home from the hospital and she developed hiccups, I ran for the baby book, convinced she was having trouble breathing. The first time she had a fall, there was a serious debate about the need to rush to A&E.
One of the hardest days for a mother is the day the little darlings start school. Suddenly they have a whole part of their lives that you cannot observe. New friends, different influences on their personalities and likes and dislikes that you cannot control. What if they are miserable or scared or hurt or bullied and you cannot be there to defend them?
The one time I can be sure my babies are safe is when they are home and in bed. Safely asleep in the room I made for them.
So I developed a little ritual. Each night I take them up to bed and I tuck them in. Then we sing a song.
My daughter demanded the same song every time, once she was old enough to ask. I have now sung ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ almost every night for 6 years. I have changed the words, sung the ‘Winnie the Pooh’ version, created my own versions, tried using silly voices. Anything to make it less repetitive for me. She listens, she laughs. And then she demands it done properly.
I guess that it’s not just me that likes the reassurance of the ritual.
My son gets ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’. He likes the funny voices. I’m allowed to play with that one.
Once they are asleep and I am on my way to bed, I have to check on them. I like to listen to them breath before I go to bed myself. It’s comforting. I know they are safe for the night.
I’m sure it’s not just me. Or is it?