That’s me, the Kindermusik teacher, talking. I’m also a mom of four Kindermusik alumni. My youngest daughter, Starla, is seven years old and tonight my heart swelled when she reminded me how true my words to younger moms really are.
Starla shares a room with her older sister. Their typical bedtime routine starts with cuddling up in a twin bed, talking, giggling and telling each other stories before drifting off to the land of Nod. Lately, between laughter and dreamland, Starla has a meltdown. It lasts about 10 minutes and the tears flow uninhibited. Anything can trigger it–thoughts of a grandparent who passed away, a recollection of an unkind word spoken to her earlier in the day, anticipating her older sister’s departure to college…I tell her that tears are a gift from God–they release the sadness inside us so it doesn’t get stuck there and make us sick. Musing further over this dilemma as a mom will do, I had a moment of inspiration. Remembering an old CD of children’s lullabies that went inactive in recent years, I located it in the back corner of the closet next to the dust bunnies and excitedly informed Starla that we would listen to it every night for the next week. “Perhaps it will help sleep to come more gently,” I consoled. With a promise to come back for kisses and prayers a few minutes later, I turned it on tonight, as the kids crawled into bed. Returning, to deliver on my word, I heard Starla tell her sister, “I like this CD but I like it better when mommy sings to me.”
Now it was my turn to be reduced to tears. I laid down beside my “baby” and sang with the CD until her breathing became heavy, methodical and I could feel her muscles twitching. Her hand went limp in mine. I kissed it and whispered “I love you. Goodnight.”