Thursday, December 15, 2011

Babies DON'T keep!!

Many mamas are familiar with the poem, "Song for a Fifth Child" by Ruth Hubert Hamilton, but I've pasted it in below because I needed the reminder. Babies can not and do not wait. Days may be long, with diapers to change, laundry to wash (and dry, fold, And put away), meals to cook (and clean up), and much, much more. But the years are very, VERY short. One day you are holding a tiny baby. The next, you are staring in the face of an adult! What is the more important investment; your house or the future adult in your arms?!

Social pressures weigh heavy. We think everyone else keeps an immaculate home, and if we are good mamas, we will, too. Medical wisdom pushes us to parent for convenience, with the goal to as quickly as possible have our babies sleep through the night, on their own.

After 16 years of parenting, and lots of baby rocking (with eight kids, I've had plenty of opportunity), I know that dust and dishes will definitely keep; mine have! Babies don't. Even if you rock them all the time (like I have with my youngest, due to severe reflux and sensory issues), babies don't stay babies. It is hard, because the tasks are so obvious and absolutely necessary, but Ruth Hubert Hamilton was right, babies do not keep. Here is the poem, in its entirety. Enjoy...

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up the bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,

(Lullaby, Rockaby, lullaby, loo.)

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,

(Pat-a-Cake, darling and peek, peekaboo).

And out in the yard there is hullabaloo.

But I'm playing kanga and this is my Roo.

Look aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, Rockaby, lullaby loo)

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,

I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

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