“Mimi,” my 4-year-old grandson Breydon implored, his sleepy brown eyes gazing up into my own, “would you sing us a song?” He and his twin sister Breeja filled my lap as we snuggled close for prayers in the rocking chair at the end of a long day. (I’ve always assured them that Papa God was thinking of twins when He gave grandma’s two legs – one for each pair of sweet cheeks to sit upon.)
“Sure,” I replied. “What would you like to hear?” I was fully expecting one of his fave requests: “Mimi’s Little Babies Love Shortnin’ Bread” (my slightly tweaked version of a Southern classic), “Amazing Grace” (is there any sweeter sound than precious little voices lifted to heaven to join you in this ancient praise song?), or “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (for some strange reason, this was their mama’s favorite bedtime song also, decades ago).
But no. Brey surprised me. After a long moment’s thought, he replied, “That one about the nice dragon.”
So I obligingly launched into “Puff the Magic Dragon” with two darling voices chiming in on the chorus (the part they knew).
Then I got to the last verse and choked. No, I didn’t forget the words, I literally choked. As soon as the words, “Dragons live forever, but not so, little boys” cleared my lips, the truth of that horrible statement hit me full force. Like I was standing nekked in front of a freight train. An enormous lump of Puff’s prize ceiling wax suddenly clogged my throat and my eyes flooded with tears.
I recalled all too well just yesterday when their 8-year-old brother was small enough to fit into my lap and request bedtime songs. (These days he’s usually busy in another room doing whatever it is big 8-year-old boys do.)
And then my mind reflects back to just last week when their mother and Uncle Matthew were my cuddlers and adorable song-assistants in a different rocking chair in another beloved familiar darkened room in a tiny house built in an abandoned orange grove. A rocker now long gone and a lovingly decorated nursery – bursting with a new mom’s hopes and dreams – that was transformed many times over as those hearts of my heart grew up.
“Dragons live forever, but not so, little boys.”
Even though at the time, it seemed like my babies would never grow up … they did. And now here I am, full circle, singing the same songs I sang way back then … to my babies’ babies.
And I’m all too painfully aware that little boys and little girls DO grow up. Far too fast. And soon they won’t fit in my lap anymore (at least not together), and they’ll grow too cool for bedtime songs. And find better things to do than fill their ancient old grandma’s emotional cup full to overflowing with their warm hugs and sweet kisses.
One day, I know, Puff that mighty dragon will “sadly slip into his cave” when these precious littles aren’t little any longer. And so, I fear, will their Mimi.
But until then, Papa God has given me the priceless gift of time. I have this very night. And I have cuddlers in warm jammies to cherish. And I still have Puff’s happy adventures to sing about. To make memories that will comfort us all on cold, dark nights when we are no longer together.
So I will sing. With gusto. And I’ll be ever so thankful.
What are you thankful for today, dear BBFFs (Blessed Blog Friends Forever)?