All good fairy tale stories start out with… Once upon a time… or There once was….
When I think about a lullaby, I think about the one that starts out “Rock a-bye baby….”
None of them apply to my daughter when she was eighteen months old. It’s not much of a fairy tale, but I’m guessing there are a few out there that can relate to today’s post.
Back in 2004, we lived in Michigan. It’s a cold and lonely state when you live far from your family. Especially, when you’re a new mother and you have a child who has to see specialist on a frequent basis.
If you’ve been following this blog for a long time, then you know our daughter Bell was born with a vascular birthmark, or otherwise known as Hemangioma. Yeah, same kid from last week’s ADHD post.
There came a point in 2004, when Bell had to have laser surgery for her vascular birthmark. It was on her face, between lip and nose. For this laser surgery, a nurse held her, awake, while they zapped the hemangioma, and gave her back to me.
I gave her Tylenol before the procedure and afterwards, but it was the afterwards that shredded my heart to pieces. When I would get my baby girl back, she would cry to no end. I cried, too. I held her, tried to nurse her, gave her all her favorite toys, but to no alas did anything make this baby stop crying. I knew it hurt and no amount of Tylenol would make it better instantly.
So I did what any other frustrated and upset mother does, I stapped my baby into her car seat and head for home, praying that she would fall asleep and the pain reliever would kick in to sooth her hurts.
But there comes a time as a mother, that you feel so helpless that you cry along with your child. So knowing that it’s an hour drive from Ann Arbor, MI to our home near Detroit, I drove blinded by my own tears. Sometimes a mom can’t take the crying anymore, so I turned on the radio, really…really loud. Not caring what song came on, I just needed to hear something else than my baby cry. I was helpless to my own child.
The loud heavy metal roar of Skillet blared from our car stereo. It echoed the rage in my soul and still my baby cried louder. Then she stopped. My heart raced. I found the next safe spot and pulled over on the highway. Fear gripped me that something had happened to my baby, she wasn’t crying anymore. I turned down the music and with the car safely in park I turned back to check on her. She clutched her blanket near her head and her eyes were closed. I put my hand on her and felt her breathing. For the longest time, I sat there, watching her sleep. Sleep!!
Perhaps all that crying had exhausted her and the car ride was making her tired.
I turned off the radio, and she started to fuss. So I started driving, she must have sensed we’d pulled over. She still fussed as I drove. I turned back on the music and she went back to sleep.
When I told my husband about the music, he didn’t believe me. Who would? Skillet put a baby to sleep? I’m sure right now, they’re thinking this is an insult. What rock band would want their music to put kids to sleep? Especially heavy metal rock?
So when we returned to have another laser surgery a few weeks later, I turned on Skillet on the way home. She stopped crying and went to sleep.
I wasn’t convinced yet that it was the music, so on a trip to visit relatives a week later, I turned on the music again. It was late in the evening and we hoped she would sleep most of the eight hour drive back to Pennsylvania where our family was waiting for us.
She slept, and since that day Skillet became our baby girl’s preferred lullaby.
Now that she’s older, like tween older, Skillet is still a much loved rock band in our music collection. Instead of falling asleep to it, she now sings along with it.
There is nothing like having your kid scream “Feels like a Monster” from the back seat when your driving down the highway. We’ve attended a few of their concerts, you can check out This Momma Rocks, here.
Skillet’s newest release came out last summer, you can bet it’s in the CD player of the family taxi.