Go to sleepy little baby.
When you wake, you shall have,
All the pretty little horses.
Blacks and bays, dapples and greys,
Go to sleepy you little baby.
I am at a horse show. My eldest rides and she made it to "Zones” a higher level of competition. I sit in the bleachers with the other Gen X parents, cold but blissfully ignorant of the nuances of the competition.
It is so windy, that it is spooking the horses. A parent's worst nightmare: a child on a ton and a half of previously wild animal. Bad thoughts swirl in your head like dust in the fields. Good thoughts too.
I used to sing that lullaby to her when she was an infant. It was in the back bedroom of our townhouse in Chicago in a traditional rocker I bought from a used furniture store. Some nights it would take hours to get her to go to sleep. Other nights I drifted off only to startle and find a wide awake infant who, I thank God, didn’t drop off my lap. Still some other nights, she would be freshly bathed, have her tummy full and close her eyes instantly at the first verse.
I’d like to think it was the song that inspired her love of horses. I don’t really know. She tells me it was her love of animals and the sensation you get when jumping: “It’s like you’re flying Mommy, “ she told me one day. One can’t argue with that kind of happiness. I can’t argue with the focus and discipline that riding has given her either.
The wind has died down enough to catch all thoughts and my nerves. The barn is now quiet.
I can hear the announcer again.
I can’t rock her any more, but I think she still dreams of pretty little horses.
But in my dreams she is still safe in my arms, in that used rocking chair.