Lullaby for the World

It is Monday, March 23, 2020, and it just started snowing outside. My family is starting our eleventh day of sheltering in place because of COVID-19, and all of us need a lullaby.

I am reading now of all the pregnant women who will give birth without the presence of their partners or any companion at all, and I want to weep. I picture them holding their newborns and cooing in their sweet little ears. I picture them exhausted. I picture them scared and ecstatic in equal measure. I picture them traumatized and also in love.

I want to sing those women a lullaby, tell them that is ok to sleep, to weep, to feel joy and despair. I want to say those things to myself, to my children, to the whole damn world.

I want to sing a lullaby to all the fathers who will miss their baby’s passage from womb to world. Who want nothing more than to clumsily figure out how to swaddle a newborn. Who want to kiss their partner and marvel at her strength.

I want to cradle all the grandparents whose yearning for their children and grandchildren is a bodily function, as involuntary as digestion.

I want to sing a lullaby to the whole freaking world and all of us in it who are scared, overwhelmed, sick, and in pain.

I don’t really know what the tune would be or the words that would bring it to life.

But I do know its simple and endless refrain:

You are loved; you are loved; you are loved; you are loved.

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