My sweet baby May,

As I rock you to sleep, I feel your soft, still squishy cheek pressed against my chest. I feel my heart beating rhythmically inside that same chest and imagine the sound waves bouncing soothingly off your eardrums in a familiar sleep-inducing pattern. It is the same pattern that composed the soundtrack of your creation.

From the time you were just a tiny cell, my heartbeat was there, pulsing with nutrients and blood, giving you life. When your little ears couldn’t yet hear, my heartbeat was vibrating in the fluid cradling you, lulling you in a cocoon of safety and love. As your tiny ears started working, my heartbeat was the first and constant song playing in your head. 

Your mama’s heart song, playing for you.

Oh, my love. Do you remember that song now as you lay sleeping? Does it still comfort you now that you have officially been out in this great big world longer than you were held in my womb? Now that you have heard many songs and rhythms more complex and loud? As you learn to scoot and crawl, I see you look back at me as if questioning if it is OK that you are moving farther from me. Are you listening for my heartbeat, little one? Seeing if it will reach you as you cautiously venture farther away? Is it what causes you to reach your arms up to me when I walk by? Is it what compels you to cry out for me in the night?

Are you finding your song, my love?

I think you are.

I think you still remember and still feel the song within you. I can tell by the way you look at me in that special way that is just for your mama. I can tell by the way you fall asleep fastest when it’s me rocking you. I can tell when you reach your little hand up to feel my face, eyes still closed, while you nurse in the middle of the night. I can tell by the way your face lights up when I walk in the room, and by the wails of despair when I walk out. I can tell when we cuddle in the rocker and your eyes flutter trustfully. And I think when you pull your head in close for snuggles after daycare that you are checking to see if your song is still playing for you.

And oh, is it playing.

Your song will forever by playing, sweet one. Long after your soft, pudgy cheeks have thinned and you no longer press your ear against my chest to fall asleep. It will still be playing when you no longer look back but bravely venture full force into the world.

I know there will come a time when you no longer remember how much it comforted and surrounded you in the early months of your life both inside and out of the womb, but it will still be playing. I know there will be a day that snuggling with your mama is a thing of the past, but it will still be playing on that day.

You see little one, your song is my life force. That heartbeat keeps me living, just as it kept you alive when you couldn’t survive on your own.

So my sweet girl, while you will grow up and forget the lyrics of your song, I hope you will not forget the rhythm of love it has been beating for you from the beginning. I hope you will know that no matter how big you get or how far you venture, those sound waves are reaching out for you from inside my chest. I hope you feel the vibrations of safety and love surrounding you even when you are far away. And when you feel down or troubled, I hope that rhythm of your song is what plays in your head and in your heart.

And oh, sweet baby May, know that for as long as I live, your song and the memories of us listening to it together will be playing on repeat in my heart. Know that your mama will always be here playing your song, welcoming you with open arms to come have a listen.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Kiley Hillner

Kiley Hillner lives in Texas with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She works full time and recently graduated with her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is loving life and embracing the chaotic beauty of motherhood. You can find more of her thoughts on this parenting gig on her blog at https://slickytime.com/.