I once spent the 11 days before Christmas rocking my two-year old daughter Molly while she sat limply in my lap, feverish and hoarsely demanding I sing “Baby Mine.”
So, I did. Over and over.
Every time she fell asleep, I’d try to ease us both off that chair and she’d lift her head and bark, “Baby Mine.”
Occasionally, I’d try to switch up the playlist, toss in a Christmas carol or two. But, she’d open one eye, glare at me and bark, “Baby Mine.”
So, I’d sit us back down and sing again.
Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part
Baby of mine
Our family doctor diagnosed her with Influenza A and slowly she recovered her spunk.
In the 20 years since, she has not asked me to sing. Ever.
So, I kind of remember those days fondly.
Likewise, I’m sure I will remember fondly this more recent period of time, during which Molly found herself stranded back in our house.
She didn’t ask me to sing to her, but she did bake me tasty treats, introduce me to a bunch of shows I never would have watched and articles I would not have read without her, and engage me in discussions that broadened my thinking.
She also froze me some homemade croissants that I plan to enjoy, one by one, until she comes home again to bake me some more.
Today is her 22nd birthday and, like every year on August 24 (and July 8, December 11, and March 3), I am thanking God for the gift of her and all our kids.
You think you’re going to raise those impossibly tiny little babies when the nurses swaddle them up and hand them to you in the hospital, but the truth is they raise you. They challenge you in all sorts of really cool ways and grow your hearts and brains. (They gray your hair a little too, but there are remedies for that.)
Happy birthday, Baby Mine, and thank you for 22 years of joy.