Lullaby

I sang a song for my daughter while she laid in her crib. It’s a sweet song about all kinds of people asking the listener to stop making fun of them. I really got into it and was bellowing out the chorus – “Don’t laugh at meeeeeeeeee…”

She started crying during the last verse, sort of that uncontrollable cry that happens when your sadness just won’t stay inside anymore.

I asked her why she was crying. I was hoping it was the song.

“I miss my mommy,” she said.

I asked her where it hurt and she pointed to her stomach, pleased that I asked the question.

“What will make it better?” I asked.

“If mama come tuck me in when she gets home,” she said.

“Okay. I can tell her to do that,” I said.

And she forced herself to stop crying.

She’ll be asleep when mama walks in and kisses her. She’s a deep sleeper. Nothing wakes her up. But just the thought of mama touching her in her sleep was enough to make the stomach ache go away.

I wonder if it really hurts that badly or she’s just making it up in her mind. I wonder if she’s playing me a little bit.

And I wonder if the song, in its universal language, brought those tears out and, having been confused with the suddenness of it all, she grappled onto the thing that always soothes her pain.

Mama.

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