Babies Don’t Keep

A good friend of mine made this needlepoint for me before the birth of my first child.


It’s hung in a frame above the rocking chair in his nursery since that time. It’s an excerpt from a very sweet poem by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton called, Song for a Fifth Child:

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Any mom could relate. Who hasn’t felt a little overwhelmed at times by everything that needs to be done when there are little ones running around the house or crying out for you? I know I certainly have. Laundry never seems to get folded and put away, dishes sometimes sit in the sink and I have a long to do list that seems to get longer with each passing day. When I feel myself starting to sweat all the small things that go undone, I remind myself to find joy in all those little everyday moments with my kids that seem to pass too quickly. Because that’s what really matters– loving and really being there for your little ones. Holding and rocking your baby, reading that book for the tenth time, kissing that boo-boo– everything else can wait.




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