I used to read Goodnight Moon to my little one every night but it got kinda boring for us so a couple of weeks ago we took her to her bookshelf and told her to pick one of her books. She pulled out "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan.
On the first page is a cartoon illustration of Bob Dylan holding up a sign that says, "Dig Yourself." And then his beautiful song is portrayed through awesome illustrations throughout...
May God bless and keep you always. May your wishes all come true. May you always do for others and let others do for you. May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung. May you stay forever young, forever young, forever young. May you stay forever young...
May you grow up to be righteous, May you grow up to be true, May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong, May you stay forever young, forever young, forever young, May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy, May your feet always be swift, May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift. May you heart always be joyful, May your son always be sung, May you stay forever young, forever young, forever young, May you stay forever young.
Now every night at story time I turn into a bumbling, crying fool. Especially when I let my husband read and watching her look at him and at the pages in wonder. I get so overwhelmed with love and emotion. It's moments like these and moments like last night that I remember everyone who ever told me "having a child changes you forever."
That was NO JOKE. Last night I went to see "The Help" with my husband and every time Abilene would tell her little girl "You is beautiful. You is strong. You is important" I burst into tears. Especially that last time she said it. Heart wrenching!
I am so sensitive to children and mothers; their causes, their concerns and their well being. When I read words like those in "Forever Young" I can connect myself to every mother and father that ever was, is, or will be and put our differences aside and understand every single one of them. I know the wishes we all make for our little ones, the pleas, the hopes we have in our hearts- especially the ones that are not so specific... the ones that sound something like "just please grow up healthy, happy and strong!" Because we want them to be who THEY are. Any WAY we think they should be is already limiting.
I think how beautiful these words are and how they came from such an authentic place; from such a loving place. I think about my daughter. I think about my mom. I'm sure she wanted all of that for me. I wonder where all those wishes and good intentions get lost in translation. And why? No parent ever really wants to be estranged from their children, yet it happens so often. And I wonder if the little voice inside of me that knows my little one and I have a different relationship is more of an insecure affirmation than a true and safe knowing.
Mothering is full of so many questions.