It is four in the morning. I have been drifting in and out of hazy dreams for the past two hours, and have finally given up on sleeping. But for the gentle swish of the leaves and the distant baying of a dog, everything is quiet.
I look at my daughter. At three, she still latches on to her pacifiers. Getting her to sleep without them is one constant tug-o-war, which—unfortunately for me—always goes in her favor. But in this peaceful hour, all thoughts of weaning her from her binkies, all thoughts of future appointments with the orthodontist, are immediately banished.
Two songs come to mind instead. My parental anthems, I call them: Natalie Merchant’s “How You’ve Grown” and Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” The first tells of those fleeting years, and the lyrics gets me all teary. Especially now that my daughter is discovering a world outside of mine.
The second sings of what I want her to have--and to be. She is not me, this much I know. She is, among others, a drama princess, a fiery performer, a dancer. Things that I am not. But I want her to have that eternal "sense of wonder," that passion for sunrises and sunsets, for fairy tales and magical stories. I want her to believe and behold. I want her to be what she really wants to be.
Of course that's still a long, long way off. But at 4 a.m., just as the world is struggling between sleep and wakefulness, anything goes...