SONG FOR A FIFTH CHILD
by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue.
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due.
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue? (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
Babies don’t keep.
I think few things make you more aware of the passage of time than children. It doesn't matter if they are your own or someone else's. Children change in the blink of an eye. It is amazing.
I think the worst thing that other parents say to me is "It goes fast!!!" I KNOW IT GOES FAST! I am constantly aware of this fact. I hang on as tightly as I can and try to be "aware" and "in the moment." But I am gone 8-10 hours a day and when I get home my baby seems different from even that very morning. I wish I could be with him all the time but I can't. As for me, I feel old today. And I'm only 34.
A fellow blogger who writes Holly Doodle Designs posted this poem a week or two ago. I have to admit it made me teary-eyed. I'm doing the best I can and I can only hope it is enough. Because babies don't keep.