Monday, December 17, 2012

Please don't take my sunshine away ....

Last night, when I was sitting in the living room reading after a long day of "talking to Santa" (aka shopping until my feet felt like they were going to fall off), loooooong after the Peanut (our youngest) should have been asleep, I heard her singing in her room. I went upstairs and found her in her bed, singing "You are my cupcake, my only cupcake ..."

She was singing along to this little book by Joyce Wan.

I bought this book for the Peanut last year at Christmas-time, and when we read it, she insists that I read it to her, oh, at least five times. And when I say read, I mean sing, because I sing it along to the tune of "You are my sunshine": "You are my sunshine, my sticky little gumdrop, my mushy little sweet pea, my oven-baked cutie-piiiiiiieeeee..." You get the idea. She even yelled at my mother-in-law when she was about one-and-a-half for singing it the wrong way. That's what I love about the Peanut. She's a woman who knows what she wants.

My favorite illustration.
Perhaps I love this book so much because my mother used to sing to me the real version of this tune:

You are my sunshine, 
My only sunshine,
You make me happy
When skies are gray,
You'll never know dear
how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

The other night, dear,
While I lay sleeping,
I dreamt I held you in my arms,
When I awoke dear, I was mistaken,
And I hung my head down and cried ...

I've been singing this song under my breath a lot today. One of my greatest fears since my children bloomed into this world is that their little lights might be put out by some set of circumstances beyond my control. I do whatever I can to protect them. I don't let them play outside when I'm not out there with them. I hold their hands in the parking lot. I make them wear their seatbelts. I put covers on all of the outlets. I've taught them not to talk to strangers. Despite all of that, there could be that one moment when they wake up inside of someone else's bad dream. Everything I have done to bring them safely into this world and to shield them from all the bad in it could be gone just like that. Poof.

Sometimes, it seems to me that trying to protect your kids from the world outside is like pulling the blanket over your face at night when you're afraid there are monsters under your bed. What good is that blanket going to do?

All I can do tonight is offer up this little song like the prayer that it is. Rest in peace, little souls. Rest in peace. And for the rest of us, let's read to our peanuts. We are very lucky to have them. ~Alice
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