Yesterday we played at our neighborhood park. It was cold (in the 30s) but sunny and we needed to get outside. There's nothing like a little sand and snow play.
It is a four minute drive from the park to our house and we prepared ourselves for four minutes of screaming. But on the off chance it might work, I began singing You Are My Sunshine. Anne is particularly responsive to music and she has a special fondness for You Are My Sunshine. At one of Clare's story times, the librarian led the children in singing You Are My Sunshine and Anne smiled the largest smile I had ever seen her smile.
As we drove home from the park, the song seemed to work its magic again. Anne quieted slowly. As I repeated the song for about the third time, Meg chimed in. I must admit that my initial response was annoyance. I was afraid Meg was going to break the spell I had over Anne and Anne would begin screaming again. But I held that annoyance in and adjusted my key to Meg's key and we kept singing. Soon Clare joined in and we sang You Are My Sunshine over and over again. Anne quietly listened.
I found myself nearly moved to tears at the sound of my little girls' voices singing to soothe their baby sister. I realized how close I came to missing that moment and I was so grateful I had not let my initial reaction ruin it. With the stress of a new baby in the family, it is so easy to respond with "Hush, don't wake the baby!" So often, the big sisters are just trying to help, while we are just trying to keep our sanity. What a gift those little bright voices were to me yesterday.