The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
When our children were very small, we lived in a tiny house in St. Louis. All of the kids shared a bedroom, except for the baby, whoever that was at the moment.
The baby’s room was yellow with a dark, maple crib and matching dresser and changing table. The only other piece of furniture in the small room was a rocking chair we had painted black. Every afternoon, I would remove the family of stuffed animals from the rocker and the baby and I would read picture books and rock.
Jenny loved Berenstain Bears. Jon’s favorite book was Toulose the Chocolate Moose. Julie adored Honey Bear. And, Joy loved stories about baby animals.
As, I rocked our baby before their afternoon nap, I often looked at this poem, hanging over the changing table. It was a constant reminder to me that the quiet time I was spending with this little one was more important than cleaning, or cooking or laundry.
I am so glad that I took that time with my children. While they were too little to remember those precious moments, I remember them with a tender joy and gratitude.
Today, while babysitting our two youngest grandchildren, Samantha and Madelyn, I was amazed how true that poem is even for a grandma.
Babies don’t keep.
Our oldest grandchild, Nicole, will soon be 15. We spent many happy hours with her and how I wish I could have those days back. Our only grandson, Kevin, is 11 1/2. Every minute we have spent with this loving, intelligent boy has been a gift. Now, the other two are growing and changing before our eyes.
So, once again, and with great joy, I am putting the cleaning and scrubbing on notice: ”Quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my (grand) babies and babies don’t keep.”