Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Every night as part of our night-night routine, Toph and I sit down on the glider and read a story. In the past couple of weeks, he has gotten much better at tolerating this part of our routine; before he would squirm and fuss after a few minutes, but he has recently discovered his thumb and the awesomeness of sucking it, so if he gets that thing in his mouth, he'll sit with me for a few minutes, if not listening, at least looking at pictures.

Anyway, I read him classics such as "Going on a Bear Hunt" and "Goodnight Pookie." I also love the book about picking berries, but the title escapes me at this moment. I can read all these books to him with perfect fluency and prosody and I make sure to incorporate all the aspects of emergent literacy. I love this time with my son.

There is one book however, that I am unable to read to him. When I do attempt to read this book to him, my voice cracks, it shakes, it goes from a really soft pitch to a really high pitch. That's because this particular book makes me cry, no matter how many times I read it. It's called "On the Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman.

I can't even get through the first two pages before I tear up. I mean, this is the opening line:

On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered,
"Life will never be the same."
Because there had never been anyone like you...
ever in the world.

Woo boy, water works for mama. It has more zingers, like this one:

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
it's because they're all hoping to see you smile...

And the last two pages make me do a little thing Oprah coined "the ugly cry." They go like this:

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you , my friend,
and it never will, not ever again...

Heaven blew every trumpet
and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous
night you were born.

I don't know if I'm just a sappy sucker, but boy, the truth to those words just make me tear up. It's not that I feel sad, I just feel so overwhelmed by the truth of it all...there will never be another Toph in the world, ever. He was created in God's image, he grew in my belly and he is God's child, being lent to me to nurture and love. I only hope I help him know just how special he is.

After choking through the story, I sang to Toph, wrapped him real tight, kissed him and came downstairs. I handed the book to hubs and told him he would have to read it aloud to him from now on. We can't have a sobbing mommy trying to get through a's a joyful book and needs a joyful tone. Tears just don't sound joyful...even if they are.

Oh yes, and it ends with Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My promise to Toph is that I will do everything I can to ensure he knows he is fearfully and wonderfully made.


Kim said...

I love that book :) Toph is very lucky to have such amazing parents as you and Matt. See you soon.

Tara said...

Another tear jerker - The Kissing Hand.....I would start reading it now and not too close to the time you're going back to school!