It started in an expected place. It was during one of my umpteenth viewings of the Robert Downey Jr. movie Heart and Souls, a movie that came out in 1993…17 years before I would have my first baby. But in the movie, the mother character has a special song she sings to her kids every night. She then dies and becomes one of the souls that are stuck with Downey Jr. throughout his life. Later in the movie, they try to find people from their lives. She hears a policeman singing that same song to his daughter and she knows that has to be her son because that was their special song that she made up. So as a teenager, I knew…I wanted special songs for my kids.
Fast forward to 2010. My baby is here. A little boy. I sing lots of songs to him early on. “You are my Sunshine” is strong in the rotation (and still special to me now because of that). I break out “Once Upon a Dream” from Cinderella quite a bit (That is still very special because I sang that to him while in my belly…it’s about not having met yet, but you would know them and love them right away when you meet them! Very fitting for a baby in the belly). And “Good Night My Someone ” from Music Man is another favorite. “Sailing” (based on Nsync’s version) is another special song we share. But not too long after he came into our world, I decided I wanted that special song just for him. So I set out to write it. It didn’t take long. Being a music teacher, I could come up with a melody pretty quickly. The words aren’t anything fancy, but they are his and his alone. And he still requests it to this day at age 10.5.
“Little Baby Ryan”
Little baby Ryan, I love you, I love you, yes I do.
Little baby Ryan, I love you, and I hope you love me too.
Little baby Ryan, I love you, I love you (kiss 3 times), yes I do!!
Little baby Ryan, I love youuuuuuuuu. And I hope that you love me to-o-ooo.
Next is 2013 when my baby girl arrives. She must have a song as well. She was already been hearing mommy singing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “Part of that World” from Little Mermaid, “Be My Baby” by the Ronnettes, and “Can’t Keep my Eyes off of You” by Frankie Valli. But she too needs her very own song. I sat with pen and paper, working out a few rhyming lines that could speak my love for my baby girl. Eventually I came up with the song that is now hers forever.
Baby Sarah, close your eyes, slumber time is here.
Cuddle close sweet baby girl, mommy’s always near. (repeat verse 1)
Baby Sarah, dry your eyes, never shed a tear.
Snuggle close sweet baby girl, mommy’s always here. (repeat verse 2)
And so now my two beautiful children have a song of their own to hold on to forever.