Lullabies and Nightmares

As I looked at the prompts for today, the word, lullaby, jumped out at me, for no one ever sang me to sleep with a lullaby. I did not even know any lullabies until I was an adult. Someone told me about Rock-a-Bye Baby as a means to get my infant to sleep. But, when I heard the words, I was shocked to think that anyone would sing their child a song of cradles falling and babies falling with them.

It scared my socks off just thinking of my child falling off a cliff or the bough of a tree and away into a vast infinite, bottomless pit where I could not rescue him. Maybe that is where the nightmares of falling endlessly started for many people.

Then came the prayer/lullaby, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Reminding children that they could die during the night had to have led to a few nightmares. Indeed, the bogeyman may have originated with ideas of some unknown guy coming to get your soul, especially before they understood who God is. I imagine that some people still suffer from insomnia from all the sleepless nights worried about dying and never seeing their parents and siblings again.

I avoided all of that by simply telling them that I was right across the hall if they needed me, and reminding them each night that they were loved. If they could not sleep, I held them in my arms and whispered how much God loved them and would keep them safe. If they thought there were bogeymen under their beds, I would get down on my knees and look, and then when I showed them that there was nothing to worry about, they went on to sleep.

Of course, considering that I cannot carry a tune in a bucket, it is probably good that I did not sing to my children. That would have scared them more than the falling cradle. Although when my grandkids were infants, singing gospel songs to them seemed to work. They may have been trying to escape the noise or get me to shut up.

None of  my kids have told me that they suffer from insomnia or have nightmares about falling into an abyss along with their beds. But, I imagine that for many children the soothing sounds of their parents’ voices were more important than the words of the lullabies, so no harm done. Right??

I felt like being silly today. Have a great week!

Word of the Day Challenge is Lullaby. Daily Addictions prompt is Infinite. Ragtag prompt is Whisper. Fandango prompt is Unknown.

 

 

9 thoughts on “Lullabies and Nightmares

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  1. Yes, some of the nursery rhymes and lullabies are a bit scary. We used to sing Rock a Bye Baby to our son, but we changed the lyrics by inserting his name and he came down with a parachute! lol. Like you said it wasn’t the words that were soothing, but probably our voices!

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  2. I think that some of these darker rhymes ( or, ‘If I should die before I wake ) originated at a time where childhood diseases were often fatal. That being said, I’m not sure they have a place for young children now- however. I write ghost stories and darker things so I am drawn to them for inspiration.

    But teach them to my young granddaughter- or before that her Dad, my son? Nope. Never. Seemed out of place.

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      1. I write fiction, so the research I do has more to do with psychology, history, current events etc- in other words I try to keep up on what is going on in the world. It helps me to understand people and what motivates them to do good or evil things.

        Liked by 1 person

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