I think ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ was the first rhyme I taught you.
I started off with a basic gesture, a twinkling action with my fingers. These hands, these fingers which only knew how to type and to turn the pages of novels and to fix my hair, they have learnt to show you stars and butterflies and all other wondrous things to open up your imagination.
You must have been a year old then. And you were crying. Fat tears caused by something I no longer remember or want to. But all that mattered was I had to stop them. So I sang you this song. Words repeated from half-forgotten childhood memories. They came tumbling out then. The crying slowed down to sniffling. Then a cautious half-smile. I did the twinkling action. A wide smile from you. I sang some more. My heart sang too. For every smile from you is a reason for celebration, is it not?
I added more actions the next time, Googled for them in fact. You watched with awe as my hands went up like tall branches against a night sky. “UP above the world so highhhhhh“.
Now you are older and you enact it yourself. Mummy only has to sing softly.
“Star“, you say sometimes.
“Star“, I repeat, marvelling at every word from your lips. Surely the word “star” hasn’t sounded sweeter before? You could say “pffffttt” and I would find it nothing short of a miracle. Like you.
Your actions have me in splits – tiny hands shooting up, a crude diamond shape formed with your small fingers… “Like a diamond in the sky!”
This is our song, I think fiercely. Daddy doesn’t sing it like I can. The maid doesn’t either.
This is Mummy’s song.
For her shining star. Twinkle away, my baby. Each day brighter and brighter.
NOTE: This is Ryan’s current favourite ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ version on the web. But I like to believe my version is his all-time favourite 🙂