We have been learning about how easily sleep can become optional (even if it remains the most lovely and wonderful thing when available), how well a person can listen while "asleep," and who is the lightest sleeper in our house (spoiler: neither of us would have guessed but it's me).
Starting in the hospital, we worked on a balancing act that parents have navigated long before us including our parents, grandparents, and theirs before them. Welcoming our defenseless, beautiful little boy into our lives, and our arms, we tried to uncover what he needs and wants based on cries, grunts, looks, smells, and the wisdom of books, doctors, parents and friends. This has been a wonderful adventure.
In those earliest days at the hospital, I was learning about what it took to soothe a crying baby, trying music, bouncing, and eventually one day doing a slow dance around our small hospital room with our baby in my arms. He seemed to like my broad, swinging motions as we swayed together to Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's, "Hallelujah," Lou Reed's "Perfect Day," and a long-time favorite, Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole's mashup of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the Louie Armstrong classic, "What a Wonderful World."
|Here he is snoozing to Wilco, not Iz, little hands in the air.|
During his own time, Iz was a singer who was larger than life, in more ways than one, and ultimately he was larger than life could contain, succumbing to multiple health issues at the young age of 39. His last name translates as, "The Fearless Eyed" but to our newborn son, I would re-name him, "the heavy eyed." There are all kinds of beliefs related to what happens after we die, but for Iz, I can say with certainty that his voice persists, and is one of the most reliable tools we have found to help our baby boy find his comfort zone, and enjoy some sleep.
I can only imagine that in his little baby dreams, he feels the edges of waves lapping against his tiny toes, as he listens to a large Hawaiian man who strums a tiny ukulele keeping him wrapped up in the arms of sleep, whether he's snoozing through a bright blessed day, or a dark sacred night.
What a wonderful world, indeed.