Earlier today, I chanced upon a physical photograph from our children’s childhood archives. My husband and I have been meaning to digitize all these pics some day, but that day is yet to arrive.
The photo brought a smile to my face, as it was a top angle picture of my daughter gurgling inside her cloth hammock cradle, taken when she was a chubby six month old baby.
The cloth hammock was baby- pink in colour and made of netted cloth. It was attached to a spring, and suspended from a strong hook on the ceiling in my daughter’s room.
My daughter was a light sleeper, and would wake up at the slightest sound. My husband and I were permanently sleep deprived, and took turns to carry the baby, sing to her or rock her in the hammock.
I had a few lullabies that I had in stock as I rocked the cradle. And, when I felt that my daughter had gone to sleep, I would try to slowly walk away, but I don’t remember ever reaching the door without her gurgling and announcing that she was still wide awake.
Then my husband would give it a shot, and on it went. But on many such nights, when both of us were weary from a long day, and had to leave for work early the next morning, my dear father in law would tell us, “Why don’t you both catch a few winks, I will rock the hammock.”
And even before he completed his sentence, my husband and I would slink away, our hearts filled with gratitude for his help and love.
While for us, the parents, it was one of our duties in child rearing, for my father in law it was a pleasurable activity, as he woud talk or sing to his granddaughter with absolute joy.
The first deep bonds of love between granddad and granddaughter were sown then, as they had late night chats and gurgled to each other. And whenever my father in law paused his singing or talking, my daughter would say “hmmmmm” loudly, as if asking why he had stopped talking to her. And with delighted laughter, my father in law would resume the conversation again.
Truly precious memories!!