On the Night You Were Born (In Remembrance)

We received this book (as many do) when JJ was born, but I don’t think we’ve ever read it all the way through — he’s either been too distracted to finish the full reading of it, or we passed it over in favor of something with superheroes or dinosaurs.

As usual, it was an ordeal getting from bath to PJs to story time, and I pulled this book quickly from the shelf without giving it much thought. But as I read it to JJ, I began thinking about the 20 sets of parents who’d never get to read to their kids again, and my heart ached. It ached for their loss. It ached for those who survived and the scars they must have. And it ached for how much I love my child — trying as he may be at times — and how devastated I’d be… but I didn’t let my mind travel further down that road. All I can do is hug him and be patient with him and protect him as best I can. And be thankful for every day I have with him.

“On the Night You Were Born”

by Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”

Because there had never been anyone like you… ever in the world.

So enchanted whit you were the wind and the rain
that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

The sound of your name is a magical one.
Let’s say it out loud before we go on.

It sailed through the farmland high on the breeze… Over the ocean… And through the trees…

Until everyone heard it and everyone knew
of the one and only ever you.

Not once had there been such eyes, such a nose, such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.
In fact, I think I’ll count to three so you can wiggle your toes for me.

When the polar bears heard, they danced until dawn.
From faraway places, the geese flew home.
The moon stayed up until morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.

So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for the geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)

Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely… it’s whispering your name again!)

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
it’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

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