March 25, 1998
For more than six years, Bonnie and I helped a single mother raise her two daughters - Sabrina from age seven on, and Ana from birth on. Since I played the guitar, both at home and at church, music was a big part of both girls' lives the entire six years. In fact, Ana was colicky for the first five months of her life, and singing to her was one of the ways I developed to calm her down and get her to sleep.
One evening at church, when Ana was only a couple of months old, she started crying during a communion service. Her mother seemed to want to stay for the service, so I took Ana out in the hallway to settle her down. I laid her on her stomach, with her tiny head resting at my left elbow and her body running down the length of my left arm to my left hand. Then, I used my right hand to pat her on the back as I talked to her and sang to her. That night, carrying Ana up and down the hallway at church, I made up a simple little song that we later called "The Baby Ana Song," that put her right to sleep. I sang it to her over and over for almost 45 minutes that night.
"Ah - nah - little baby Ana
Ah - nah - little baby Ana
Ah - nah - little baby Ana
Ana, Ana, Ana, Ana, Ana!"
If your computer can play sounds from the Internet, then CLICK HERE to hear me singing "The Baby Ana Song." (It might take a minute for the song to load before it will play.)
When she was 3 years old, I watched my little Ana-nah, two or three times a week, for a little over a year, while her mother was at work. The other two week days, I would drop her off at her daycare in the morning and then pick her up in the late afternoon and take her home. Then, every Wednesday morning, I would take my guitar to Ana's daycare and lead all the little kids in about 45 minutes of singing, dancing around and discovering what little surprise I had brought for them in a big paper bag. I always looked forward to that singing time, and I'll never forget the look of love and pride on Ana's sweet little face each week as she watched her godfather lead the singing time at "her school." The daycare kids loved singing "The Baby Ana Song." Every week, we'd sing it to Ana first, then we'd sing it to several of the other children in the room, singing each of their names in place of Ana's. Then we'd sing "The Baby Ana Song" to one or more of their daycare teachers. They would laugh and laugh each time we'd sing about one of their teachers being a little baby.
Well, one day, while I was watching Ana, I decided to go out and do some grocery shopping. When I told Ana, she said, "Tum on, Bob! Let's DOE!" I packed her up in her tiny pink snow pants, parka and mittens and carried her out to the car, giving her a little kiss on her chubby, dimpled little cheek as I strapped her into her car seat in the back seat of my car.
A few miles down the road, we turned into the parking lot of Rainbow Foods, the local grocery store. All of a sudden, from behind me, I heard Ana's tiny voice break into a sweet, spontaneous little song!
"Oh, we're doe-ing to Rainbow Foods! Rainbow Foods! We're doe-ing to Rainbow Foods! Be-tuz I love you!"
If your computer can play sounds from the Internet, then CLICK HERE to hear me singing Ana's Rainbow Foods song. (It might take a minute for the song to load before it will play.)
No matter how long I live, I will always love Ana. I'll never forget "The Baby Ana Song" that I made up for her when she was only two months old. And I'll never forget Ana's very first song -- the little love song she made up for me when she was only three years old.
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