“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,
What a wonderful child you are,
With bright eyes and nice, round cheeks,
A talented person from head to feet.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,
What a wonderful child you are!”
This rhyme/ song is my favorite “I Love You ritual” that I learned from Becky Bailey. (Go to my “bookshelf” page to see more on her.) Sing it or say it.
I like to spread it to as many children and families as possible in my life! The key ingredients to making this work as a “connection” ritual are loving touch and eye contact, mixed together with those wonderful, affirming words, and your beloved voice. (And it is the most beloved by the children in your life!) I used it with baby Ellie as I put lotion on her after bath. For the first year of her life, Michael James used to sing it to her every night as we rocked together. (Talk about meaningful moments! Recently, he’s been stuck on “Silent Night” since Christmas as her lullaby, but I still sneak it in once in a while.) I’ve used it with Michael James when we are re-connecting after a difficult time-out. And I’ve used it with pre-school and even elementary children, rich and poor. They all eat it up because I think they are all seeking more authentic connections in their lives. I like to teach teachers how to do it as part of their classroom routines, and teach the children how to sit facing each other and do it as “partners”, twinkling their fingers together, touching heads and feet, and ending with a big hug. I do it with each individual child as I end my music lessons at the homeless shelter, and they just love it! They hug me hard and some call me “Mommy”, and my eyes well up. I do it with grown-ups, parents and teachers, in my seminars, and many say, “I needed that.” (My favorite was a large black childcare worker named Miss Tina who hugged me so hard and wouldn’t let me go, and when she finally did I had a big black smudge on my face from her make-up, and we all joked that her black had rubbed off on me. We laughed so hard together, and that ritual really did connect us that day.) What a wonderful world this could be if every child , young and old, were given that simple, loving message every day: “Twinkle, twinkle, little star, what a wonderful child you are!”
My Aunt Alaire blessed me with such a message, which I now pass on to other mommies in my seminars, when she changed the words a little bit just for me:
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star, What a wonderful MOM you are.
Full of love and full of joy, kind to every girl and boy.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, What a wonderful MOM you are!”
It made me tear up. Sometimes a little affirmation is all a hard-working mommy needs to get through the day, and to keep up the good work!