Ryan loves it when I sing to him. I think it has something to do with all the interaction and the fluctuation of my voice; he really pays attention and smiles as he watches my face.
He's been exposed to a hundred different things--"She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain," "Camptown Races," "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad," "The Blues Man," "This Girl is on Fire," etc. Sometimes Favorite makes up songs about what Ryan is doing that day so we have a lot of songs that revolve around taking a nap, pooping in our pants and taking a bottle.
When it's just me and Ryan, though, I sing praise choruses. When he was hours old in the hospital, I walked around our room singing "I Will Rise" while I waited for him to close his eyes. When I buckle him in the carseat, we sing "One Thing Remains" because it gets a sweet smile instead of a fit. When I cuddle him at night, I sometimes sing pieces of Nichole Nordeman's "I Am," or "I Need You." (Lately, I've been introducing him to "We Build.")
Those are the songs I know--the ones I love--but they are also the legacy I want to leave for him.
During our worship services, I hold Ryan and sing quietly in his ear. Often I pray he hears those lyrics and my voice in his head long after I'm incapable of holding him during a service. I want God's love and constancy to be carved on his heart, so I'm forever singing and re-singing "Your love never fails/ It never gives up/ Never runs out on me."
I don't know that I could explain to him how deeply I believe those words.
In the not-so-distant past, I can remember sitting on my couch with little but a glass of wine and my sobs to keep me company. Favorite was at work and my heartbreak settled in for an extended stay when I was alone. Most of those sessions resulted in me hugging my knees to my chest and repeating the only thing I knew to be true: Jesus.
Flowery prayer sessions and perfect poetry were worthless then. Prayer was little more than the name I knew and believed. I remembered that today when I was feeding Ryan and quietly singing, "I need You. Oh, I need You. Every hour I need You. My one defense, my righteousness, Oh, God, how I need You."
It's funny that in my last three months of complete joy (and chaos--lots and lots of chaos), I hadn't thought about the three thousand prayers of almost wordless desperation that proceeded it. I'm so grateful for what I've been given, but I don't want to forget the deep sense of neediness draws my heart to whisper to the only One who is capable of providing rest.
Brokenness isn't our problem. Sometimes I think the issue is we'd rather stay in the desert than see the land we've been promised because we don't want to openly admit we're needy.
I'm praying that on my church family--neediness. And on my son.
I think it's the only way we'll survive.