I've sung to Bene every day since I had him I think. I never sung to Freddie, not so far as I can remember, and it's one of my saddest thoughts. From very early on, Bene has been soothed by the sound of 'Yellow Bird', he knows its the sleepy song, he knows it means I'm going to get him to sleep in my arms, that I won't leave him, that it will all be okay. The girls sing it too him too, especially if he's cross. I love that. I love that if ever I'm not here for him, he will be able to be soothed by one of them. It doesn't matter that I only know two verses, or that I make up different versions every night. Sometimes I swap for 'somewhere over the single'; that's acceptable at bed time too. Not much else, which is fortunate as my song repertoire seems rather small. I keep thinking I need to learn more lullabies, but I'm not sure how to. Perhaps this link will help though
I do remember being sung to. My mum used to sing 'little donkey' and a one about riding a donkey to Quebec. My nana has tapes of us singing together. The strange thing is though, the one I remember most is one called 'Meddlesome Tom', a cautionary (perhaps Irish, I'm not sure as it is google invisible?) song of the naughty boy who never obeyed and never listened and meddled too often till one day he crept down to look at his fathers parcel and…..'screamed at the fright!' You never find out what it was, or what happened to him. I used to imagine he was hurt by a sewing machine because I was afraid of my Nana's black and gold Singer machine.
It's strange that I have fond memories of a warning lullaby of fear and hurt in the night.
Fear and hurt in the night. Terror at night. I check Bene ten or fifteen times an evening, more now since the death of Matilda Mae than I even did before. If I can imagine anything worse that holding my son as he died, it is how I would have felt not to be there.
And that is what this post is for. The charity FSID is changing its name today to The Lullaby Trust. It supports parents who lose their child to Sudden Infant Death – cot death – and their new name is intended to make them a little more accessible to people who find themselves in the terrible position of fear and hurt creeping into their home and taking their sleeping baby from them forever.
Bene is a big boy now. He naps in the day on my bed and nothing on earth would keep him lying on his back the way I laid him when he was tiny. We follow every precaution possible to give us peace of mind though, because I never want to see one of my children dead ever again. We keep our house cool, we use a baby sleeping bag and an apnoea mat at night, we sit with him or near him for his day time nap and often he sleeps close to me, our body rhythms in tune and familiar. But I know it might not all be enough, I know it is not always enough, so I am happy to donate his post to the launch of this new site in the hope that The Lullaby Trust will always be there to give help when it is needed.