"Burn" by Jo Dee Messina

Isn’t B stinking adorable?!  He was only a month or two when this picture was taken.  He is in the crib my Papa (my dad’s dad) made for his children, and my brother and I were blessed to sleep in it, too.  I call this “B’s Brian Boitano Pose”.  For those of you who may not know, Brian Boitano was on the US Figure Skating Team in the 1988 Olympics.  He was my favorite during that particular Olympics.  I don’t know the name of the particular spin that Mr. Boitano was famous for, but it was a spin in which a skater jumped into the air, kept their feet together and their arms crossed against their body and spun around.  Except Mr. Boitano didn’t do that; he kept one arm across his body and lifted the other arm over his head, just like B is doing in this picture, except Mr. Boitano kept his head straight.  B, on the other hand, was born with torticollis due to trauma sustained in utero, hence the head lolling to the left side.

Anywho, I want to talk about Jo Dee Messina’s song, Burn, and how it pertains to B at this tender age.  I love this song.  While I was pregnant with B, I sang it constantly.  I was laid off from my job at the end of my 2nd trimester and the hubs and I felt there was no reason for me to look for another job.  So, I became a lady of leisure.  The hormones had gifted me with a wonderful singing voice and I sang all the time, my 2 favorites being The Star Spangled Banner and Burn.  I would rub my belly and sing Burn to my baby (we did not want to the sex until he or she came out) and mean every single word.  To me, it is the epitome of what a parent, who is capable of unconditional love, wants for their child.

A friend of mine who had her 1st child 3 years before me told me something that her doctor passed onto her, and I never forgot it.  Most newborns have a “fussy” period everyday and it usually lasts for 1 – 4 hours.  They are not hungry, not sleepy and they do not need a diaper change.  There is nothing wrong, but they will fuss.  I, personally, think it probably has to do with the adjustment from being inside the womb to outside in the real world.  I’d cry and want to crawl back up, too.  Well, B had his fussy time of the day, too.  It started about 2 hours before the hubs left the office to come home and he had an hour commute.  B would scream, be rigid and arc his back away from me when I held him, causing major pain to my back.  However, putting him down made it worse.  By walking the floor, I could reduce his screaming a couple of decibels and his coloring would lower from purple to bright red.

Once the hubs walked into the house, I ran to him and thrust his child into his arms because my ears and nerves could no longer take the noise and my ego could not take the fact that I could not provide what my baby needed.  “Thank God you’re home,” I’d exclaim, “I can’t take it anymore!”  And as the hubs accepted his boy into the crook of his neck, B’s screams silenced and he looked up at his father with an expression that seemed to say, “Thank God you’re home! This woman has no idea what she is doing!”  The woman who taught our lemaze class had warned us that there is something about the warmth of daddies and the low pitch of their voices that soothes babies after being with mommies all day long and she was right!

One day, the hubs did not come home at his usual time.  I don’t remember if he had a late meeting, was stuck in traffic due to a car accident or just went out for a drink with a friend to get a break from his stressed out wife!  LOL  All I remember is that I was home, alone, with a screaming, back-arching baby who was breaking my back when I walked the floors but who blew out my ear drums if I sat down.  I knew there was nothing I could do for B but I needed to do something for myself.  Oh, how I wished I was a drinking woman back then!  ;o)  I decided to sing because singing was my happy place and Burn by Jo Dee Messina just started coming out of my mouth.

By the time I’d finished singing the 3rd line, something amazing happened.  B became quiet, lifted his head up to look at me and had this incredulous look on his face.  Yes, despite the fact that his head flopped off to the left due to torticollis, my baby could lift his head at 1 month!  He looked at me like, “Hey!  I know that song!”  And he just looked at me in silence while I sang the rest of the song.  When I finished singing, I looked down at him with a big grin of gratitude and thought to myself, “I did it!  I found the magic formula!  I’m not a horrible mom, after all!”  He looked back at me with what I interpreted as wonder and admiration on his face.  “You’re alright after all, mom,” I felt he was saying. That silence, that connection of peace and contentment and mutual admiration lasted exactly 4.5 seconds, and then B arched his back and started screaming again.

But that’s OK.  Every night B has fought sleep or woken up from a nightmare over the last 10 years, I’ve sung that song and it’s calmed him, put him at ease and gotten him to sleep.  He knows a connection to that song that equals peace and safety and love.  And it’s something that won’t work when his daddy sings it to him; it has to be my voice (*smiling smugly*).  ;o)

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