Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

07 October 2005

"Pretty Baby"

I really like this song, and I have no idea why. Again, bouncy, that's fine. Referring to a woman as a baby, not so fine. But heck, something about 'Won't you come and let me rock you in my cradle of love' really appeals to me, even if I'm not so fond of 'Oh, I want a lovin' baby and it might as well be you'. 'Might as well'? How complimentary can that be?

I'm not a baby fan overall. Infants are sweet and all, but a bit boring, and way too much work for too little sleep. The communication thing really isn't happening at all for a long while; I do much better when children get to be a year old or so. I remeber vividly when I first had a conversation with my daughter, thinking, wow, we're really having a conversation. Not a particularly profound one, but still. I knew all of my weaknesses (and a few possibly strengths) coming into parenthood. I'm the eldest of five children, so I helped out with the younger ones a bit. This was especially true since my family's broken up into two 'litters' (Mom hates it when we call it that, but it's true). The exact same parents for both sets, but my folks just took a break in the middle. I'm up top with two brothers, then an eight year gap, then my younger brother and sister. I'm 15 years older than my sister, and I got a lot of teasing in high school when I showed up with her to events. But it was good practice for having my own child. For the first 3 or 4 years of my daughter's life I did experience a kind of deju vu, without specific memories, but with feelings of having been here before. And of course, I was vaguely remembering my sister's childhood, before I left for college. It was helpful, even in its vagueness. Now my daughter's older, and I'm on my own, no helpful hints from my life besides memories of my own childhood.

Raising a child is such a whole new perspective on being a child. It's hard business, being a kid. Having to learn about everything there is to know, and not always knowing enough to appreciate the benefits of childhood, while being more fully aware of its limitations. And I am so grateful to my parents now. I have no idea how they survived *five* of us, and had none of us turn out to be ax murders or anything. I suppose we have something left to strive for in our old age if we choose.

My daughter would love to have a little brother or sister of her own. Or an older sister. ("You could adopt!") I hated being pregnant, wasn't thrilled with that first year, my daughter wanting to have a sibling is not reason enough to give her one. I tell her, very truthfully, that all I wanted was a little girl just like her, and here she is! We tell her we want to give all our attention and love just to her. And she certainly will have a different set of benefits as an only child.

But I still feel bad sometimes. I love my siblings, love being one of a bunch. When we all get together it's incredibly fun. And we have each other for all sorts of things, memories and complaining about our parents being key. Who will commiserate with my daughter when she wants to complain about us? I hope she has a slew of fabulous friends, at least a steady strong handful, and a good life partner. And I'm hoping what they say is true, that being an only child skips a generation, because I'd love a few grandkids to spoil some day. I hear you can give those back when you need a break.

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At 6:44 PM, Anonymous binky said...

We could make some kind of deal. Someone else can bear the child. I love babies... so, I can handle year one, but toddlers, ugh.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger Kathryn said...

So all we need now is someone to bear the child. I'd even be willing to give birth again, if such a thing were magically possible without pregnancy. Then you can have her for the first year, and then I'll take over. Arwen will be thrilled.


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