The house was too quiet (ha! in a house with three boys??) so I put on Elizabeth Mitchell's album Sunny Day. (It's been about 6 weeks since we heard anything but Christmas music around here.) Aidan said, "Oh I love these songs! I have them on my MP3 player." We had been listening for awhile, singing along with the many familiar songs when he asked, "When will that one come on that starts 'Rest your head my angel?' It's my favorite."
Rest your head my angel
The truth of those words left me with big, fat tears rolling down my cheeks. While it was Elizabeth who sang so beautifully, it was Aidan's clear, beseeching voice I heard in the words that spoke straight to the core of my being. I repeated the song, over and over again, memorizing the profound lyrics.
These last weeks and months, I've been struggling mightily with expecting a lot of my oldest boy, and simultaneously knowing that I'm expecting too much. I can only imagine how hard it is to be the firstborn. Yes, there is a lot of privilege, a lot of opportunity, a lot of singular attention. But there is also a lot of responsibility, a lot of burden, a lot of lofty (and unrealistic) expectations. Recent conversations with my friends have included lengthy discussions on how hard we are on our firstborns. Even knowing that we're hard on them, it's sometimes hard to stop. Because they are so capable, because they are so big and grown up, because they are our first ones and no matter how long we've been a mom, they are still the first to enter uncharted waters, every single day. Toddler tantrums? No problem. A preschooler fighting rest time? Big deal. But first grader frustrations? Oh how often I wish I had a user's manual to guide me.
The song stopped me in my tracks. This lullaby isn't for babies. This is a big boy lullaby, a quiet song to end the day, a deep message for Mother and Child. Yes, you are growing up so fast. I see your troubles and your worries. While I might not cradle you and rock you anymore, please rest your head on me. Leave your worries with me, and take your time. I am here so you can take your time. Take your time, take your time, in your own good time - I will be here. I will let you. I am here.
(Click on the link below to hear Elizabeth Mitchell's version of David's Mandolin - a.k.a Big Boy Lullaby)