Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Lovers, The Dreamers... and Me

I was all geared up to write a post about something funny that my best friend texted to me today, but this whole situation about that young boy in New York, Leiby Kletzky, has me in knots. I can’t stop thinking about him and his parents and his community. Between this child and Caylee Anthony and all the other kids we hear about – or don’t hear about – in the news… if you allow it to, it can really eat you up inside.

So today we’re going to focus on something positive and light, to fight off the grief and focus on hope. Today is about the little ones. Our little ones. Yours and mine. Whether you’re a parent or a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, a cousin or a friend of a very young member of our species (or two, or three), let’s chat about our tiny people. Even if your child is all grown up or is gone-too-soon, I want to hear about him or her. What is your keenest memory or favorite ritual or funniest story? What would you share with the world about your child, if you could?

I’ll start. My favorite ritual with my kids is singing to them at bedtime. Just before my little Bear was born, I developed an urge – from where, I know not – to relearn “Rainbow Connection.” Do you remember that song? Kermit the Frog sang it in The Muppet Movie. I adored that song when I was little, and in recent years it’s resonated more and more for me. So from the first day I brought my son home from the hospital until well into his twos, I sang him “Rainbow Connection” every night at bedtime. Looking back, if I had to choose a Kermit song, "Rainbow Connection" was probably a better choice than “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

When Ballerina was born 17 months later, I decided to stick with the theme of rainbows and to sing her “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It stuck for a while, but once the kids were old enough to communicate, it became clear that they both really loved “Rainbow Connection” best.

About a year ago, the bedtime singing kind of faded away, but a few months ago, out of nowhere, both kids started asking for “Rainbow Connection” again just about every night. So it’s our ritual once more. I even recently posted a video of myself on YouTube singing that song so that my husband could play it for our kids at bedtime when I went on a business trip across the country. For. Realz. (Don’t bother looking for it. It’s not searchable. Besides, YouTube is probably going to send the copyright police after me for singing it and posting it online. That is if the Defenders of Quality Singing don't get me first.)

I admit that tonight, while I sang to my no-longer-babies, I felt a pang, an ache, for Leiby Kletzky’s parents, knowing they won’t be able to have their bedtime rituals with him any longer. They won’t have the chance to hug him tight and give him a good night kiss. Not tonight. Not tomorrow night, either. So I hugged my two just a bit longer and gave them extra kisses, and I’ll try to remember to do those “extras” often. Oh, and I admit that maybe I sang “Rainbow Connection” with a bit too much gusto tonight… but what is it they say? Sing like there’s nobody listening?

I’ll leave you with the lyrics to “Rainbow Connection” (written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher), but before I do, remember to go to Comments below and share something about your special little ones!

Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some chose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see

Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
And what do we think we might see

Someday we'll find it
That Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

All of us under its spell
We know that it’s probably magic

Have you been half asleep, and have you heard voices
I've heard them calling my name
Is it the sweet sound that calls the young sailors
The voice might be one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It’s something that I'm s’posed to be

Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

La da da dee da da dum
La da da da da dee da do


  1. I LOVE the song Rainbow Connection. My nephew - the baseball player - will cuddle with me when I'm having a bad day. My neice - the adventurous one - loves to try new food with me and I adore going out to dinner with her.--Shawna

  2. A new bedtime ritual for Em happened on accident when instead of saying good night, I told her merry christmas and she thought that was hilarious. Now every night, we have to say silly words. Which ever mom is not putting her to bed will say something along the lines of "I love you, now go get in your easter basket and cover up with a pumpkin. Merry Christmas!" And she says "that's not what you say" and the other mom will say "uh! that's not what you say!" and this continues through all the holidays and birthdays and then finally saying good night, but saying it like a whale would and then singing some made up good night night night night song and she just laughs through the whole thing and it is awesome.

  3. Shawna - Awwww! That is so sweet!!

    Heather - I agree with your last statement. That. Is. AWESOME.

  4. We've played that song for Katie every night at bedtime since she's been born. That's over 2000 times. Literally. And believe it or not, we're not even sick of it.

  5. Mike - Three words for you. Separated. At. Birth.

  6. I remember the day I realized Jacob had a sense of humor (a little under 2). Not the giggle at stuff kind, but the class clown kind. He figured out how to make this scary demon-possessed baby face and would look at me at the dinner table. When I would try to get Corey to see him, the face would disappear and it would be all smiles. As soon as Corey looked away, scary face back - until he got a laugh out of me. Then I saw the most mischievous little grin and sparkling eyes looking at me.

    As for songs - can't beat Rainbow Connection! The one I started (at about the same time as you're Rainbow Connection re-learn) was House at Pooh Corner.

  7. Megan, I wish I had a picture of Norm's face when Noah pulled out his book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". It was priceless!
    Our absolute favorite memory with our kids was
    of Norm reading that book to Rachel, who was on one
    side and Andy on the other. Norm would hold each of their hands that was closest and read a VERY animated rendition that included holding both of their little hads together in a flourish of "Turn the page, turn the page, turn the page" and
    many other ad-libbed, little hands flailing gestures. We'd all be rolling and laughing.hysterically! Except Norm who'd remaien completely professional throughout, which only served to make it even more hilarious..

    little hands flailing gestures. We'd all be rolling, except
    Norm, who somehow kept a straight face throughout.

  8. Once the kids got older, we moved reading time to earlier parts of the day because we didn't really want the "sleep" association. For bedtime, the ritual is Hugs&Kisses. This ritual evolved to the point where the hugs are held as tightly as the kids can give while both parties engaged in the hug say "Squeeeeeeze!" The girls are also very affectionate so the kisses are of all types: puckered, butterfly and eskimo kisses. If we know we won't be back in time for bedtime, they demand that we give them their hugs and kisses before we go. Definitely something that always gives us the Warm&Fuzzies! :)

  9. Carmen, that is so sweet!! And why am I not surprised that you moved reading time when the kids got older so they would enjoy reading for the sake of reading and not as a sedative???


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