I rock my son almost every evening. He's almost two now, right at 21 months, so I know that this time is quickly coming to an end, but I love it - without a doubt my favorite time of the day. We've got a routine.
Either Shana or I will give him a bath, change his diaper and put his PJs on. But then, I get to rock him and put him in bed. He and I go through the same routine pretty much every night:
We read two regular books together in the rocking chair. They can be anything, tonight it was Grover Dresses Himself and Hungry Little Caterpillar.
Then we read our three night-night books - first New Baby's Prayers, then Sweet Dreams, and finally Pat the Bunny Sleepy Bunny. Then we put our hands together and say a prayer, and turn the lamp out.
Then while he snuggles against my chest, I rock him and sing four songs. (Yes, it's the same three books and four songs in the same order each night. I'm compulsive like that...) I sing Jesus Loves Me, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Jesus Loves the Little Children, and the Star Spangled Banner while we rock together. Yes, I know - those are odd choices for night-night songs. I'm not exactly sure how it happened - the church songs, okay that makes sense and I know I added Take Me Out to the Ballgame in the middle of the baseball season. I remember thinking about wanting to make sure that as Noah grows up I instill in him the right kind (my kind) of patriotism - and I guess that's how the national anthem got thrown in. But somehow this is what has evolved, and it's been this same routine for about six months now.
Suddenly, over the past three or four days, Take Me Out to the Ballgame has become Noah's favorite. It's become a request. I always sing it twice, once with - root, root, root for the home team; once with - root, root, root for the Astros. Between the verses he's taken to saying, "ball game, ball game, ball game" to let me know he wants me to sing it again. Of course, his daddy is stubborn, so after I finish the second time, I move on to Jesus Loves the Little Children. Noah just been continuing to say, "ball game, ball game, ball game" for a while, then gives up when he realizes I'm not going to start singing it again. But tonight, he was a little more adamant. After insisting for a bit while I continued on with the next song. Well, he finally couldn't take it any more. He sat up, looked me dead in the eyes and said firmly, "BALL. ... GAME." I couldn't help but laugh.
And I couldn't help but think - That's my boy!!!