Thursday, January 24, 2008

Crunching snow

It's cold. Four degrees this morning, full moon shining at 6 a.m. When you go outside you can feel the cold seep through even your best, high tech winter jacket from LLBean. Ben doesn't seem to mind, in his two layer parka, hat, mittens, snow pants and penguin boots. He was talking about Arctic winds today: they are learning about Antarctica at school ("You take a boat from Chile, Momma.") His teacher learned that there are some penguins now in Northern Japan who were carried there by the wind. Sounds like a weird theory because penguins don't fly, but who am I to question Montessori wisdom.

Anyway, it's cold. The snow is very crunchy, and everyone in Michigan knows that snow only crunches when it's very cold. The lower the temp, the louder the crunch. It's loud tonight. Which just adds to the fun for Ben as I haul him along on Lily's nightly walk, sitting like a penguin prince on his little sled.

Four years ago I had already met his birth mother and his half brothers, and we all knew he was full term and would be joining us at any moment. I had sat on an orange plastic chair which had its own unique crunchy sound, and heard his feathery little thumping heart inside Vickie's womb. I had come to understand what it might be like to be poor and in need of prenatal care in Detroit by visiting the women's clinic at Huetzel Hospital during those last few weeks before his birth. I'm sure it hasn't gotten any better there in four years with billions being poured into death and private interests in Iraq, Michigan's unemployment rate the highest in the nation (you know it's bad when Republicans campaign here proposing federal bailouts for us) and hundreds losing their homes to foreclosures each month.

Tonight, after reading a book and before the last drink of water, Ben wanted me to sing. His favorite book lately is I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, a sweet book about a single mom adopting a baby from China. I think he's starting to understand what adoption might be. In the book, the mom "plays" a lullaby for her new baby, but I always say "sings" when I read it, because I have always sung to Ben.

The song he wanted tonight was the Welsh lullaby my mother sang to all four of her babies:

Sleep my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels god will send thee,
All through the night.
While the ancient hours are creeping,
Hill and vale in shadow steeping,
I, my loving vigil keeping,
All through the night.

So we sang that first, Ben joining in on "all through the night". Then we moved on to "Me and My Shadow," and finally ended with that good old standard, "Fly Me to the Moon."

Baby it's cold outside, but it's really wonderful in here. May your crunching snow be lit by moonlight all the days of your life.


John Eaton said...

Just lovely, Cindy.

Happy New Year.

Cynthia Bostwick said...

Coming from you, the prince of lovely, I really appreciate this comment--Thank YOU, John! You are welcome here anytime. HNY2U2.