building family traditions - a song for each kid

sweet baby BEN, sleeping without the help of a lullaby (see end of post!) circa2007

I love hearing about traditions in other families.  Not just the big traditions that everyone remembers at holidays and all, but some of the small day-to-day ones that sometimes a kid doesn't even realize is special until they are grown and a parent themselves. Those are the best kind, I think.  And pretty much everyone has them.

I was lucky growing up to have siblings a decade older than me.  I got to watch the decisions they made and see how they affected their lives.  I got to learn from their mistakes, and also, learn from their incredible goodness.  Such a blessing!

So, while I missed having my big sister in our home growing up, I did get to go and visit her home many times.  I learned so much from watching her do things, and she also carefully taught me the importance of some things she felt were important.  That went a long way in shaping what I thought a mother should be, second only to my life growing up with my own mom.

One thing she always did, and something I fondly remember and admire, is compose a song for each of her new babies.  I believe all of these songs were written by her, and I believe they all contain that child's name.  And she would sing them over and over in her sweet and soothing voice.  How beautiful is that?

I'm not talented in songwriting like my two sisters, so while I attempted to come up with little songs for a couple of my kids, I know anyone who could hear them would think that what I ended up doing was the right choice.

Instead of "homemade" songs, each of my babies got their own special lullaby.  Something I would sing to them and only them, something that is special between mom and baby, and connects us.  And I still sing these songs to them often, even to the big kids, especially when we're feeling all squishy and cuddly inside and are marveling over how time flies and how babies grow.

Do you want to know my kids' songs?   Well, here they are -

Madelin - You Are My Sunshine
Sam - My Little Buttercup
Ben - Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
James - Who's My Baby? (sung to the tune of Who's My Lady?) and Baby Love
Lewis - Lewis Middlename Richins, you're my little guy.  (I made this one up.  It's sadly pathetic)

We also have a few songs we've sung over and over the all the kids - they are family lullabies, but not specific to any one person.  Here are those -

All the Pretty Little Ponies
I Love You

Hey, look at that - I made you a little playlist for kicks - our family's lullabies.  So far.

One song I always wanted to use, but never fit right, was Moon River.  I mean, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's...can't beat that.  But it's such a sad song, and it didn't suit any of the babies.

Oh, and a funny story about Ben's song - every time I sang when he was a baby he would scream and cry.  He HATED it!  It put a big damper on our nighttime routine when I was trying to settle the other kids in, let me tell you.  The only song he could stand was Twinkle.  Funny, but now he's the one who asks me to sing at bedtime the very most.  He's so sweet about it, too, and talks about my 'beautiful voice'.  Believe me, my voice is nothing to brag about, but he loves it, and that makes my heart so happy!

What songs do you love for lullabies?  Is it too late for me to give Lewis another special song?  He's one year old now - I just don't know if it'll be that special or if it will catch on at this point?  Huh.  I'm not sure.


Martie said...

Oh wow. So, I totally didn't expect this. Thank you for your sweet words! I am going to blog about the same thing! Why did I never do that before??? I love your children's songs!! And now I am going to listen to your playlist. (That is so funny about Ben!)

Real said...

Moon River. lol. I love that song. And it reminds me of the summer before my senior year of high school. Our wards made videos for the stake road show and in order to get me to come back to church, the people in the charge of making the video decided to star me opposite this brand new young man who had come to our ward to work before his mission. So in one scene of the movie we are at a 1950s dance and the bishopric in the ward is lip syncing to Moon River adn I'm dancing with this boy I barely know and all the while, everyone is saying "Get closer! Get closer!" lol Hilarious. Have you seen that video? I'll have to show you...