This was my "oh wow" as "Suzie" was getting to sleep tonight; as I was listening to the lullaby music in her room.
Every night since they have been born, each of the girls has listened to the same CD, an out of print thing called "Love A Byes." I am not even sure how we got started with this. My guess is that "cheap ol Dad" found it on sale somewhere and bought it.
All in all, we have listened to parts of it with "Kenzo" for nearly eight years (roughly 2500 times), more than six years with "Mabel" (about 2000 listens) and most all of it every night as "Suzie" struggles to get settled (about 3500 times.) So in my time as a Dad I have heard this particular CD around 8,000 times.
Tonight I remembered the most thing amazing thing about this record, one that I hadn't thought of in years. On the CD, there is a brief little lilting song with the most simple of all lyrics:
"Mommy loves you, loves you baby. Mommy loves you, Mommy loves you.
Jesus loves you, loves you baby. Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you."
As I heard the song tonight, for the 8,001 time, I, for some strange reason, remembered back to when "Suzie" was six months old and very, very sick. As in intensive care unit for 10 days, on a ventilator, calling everyone in from out of town sick. After she had rounded the corner from the worst of the bacterial meningitis, we were moved into a private room.
The first night in that private room "Suzie" was having a horrible time sleeping. Her mom, my beautiful bride was mucho pregnato with child #2, so she was trying to catch up on some much-needed sleep after the anxiety of the previous days.
As a result, I spent most of the night sitting in a rocking chair with "Suzie." She had all kinds of tubes and wires and monitors so she could just not get comfortable. As ne newared around 3:00 am, I had sung her every song I knew and frankly out of desperation I started singing through the "Love A Byes" (which I had only heard about 150 times at that point.) I got to the "Mommy loves you" part and just began to insert any and all names my sleep -deprived mind could think of..."Nana loves you...Pop-Pop loves you...The mailman loves you..." Not much later I had run completely out of names, and decided to, what the heck, use the dogs names..."Bongo loves you, loves you baby..."
As I was singing the sweet song with the silly dog names, "Suzie" looked up at me and smiled. It was the first time since she had gotten so desperately sick that she had smiled. So I just kept on singing the dogs names, and she kept on smiling. "Briley loves you, loves you, love you baby."
I don't know why I haven't remembered that for such a long time. I guess the next 8000 listens won't be so bad after all.
Sweet dreams, everyone.