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Ours From the Beginning

Inspired by a long-ago article in the La Leche League Newsletter, suggesting that breastfeeding one's baby made him or her more "yours", right from the beginning. As if children weren't their own persons already...

Words (c) 1989 by Karen Olsen. Tune trad. Bulgarian, adapted by Karen Olsen.

NEW! Listen to a Demo Version of this song at the LairMistress's Stranger Band Page.

*****

From his birth in late July,
Nathan never left our sight.
Kept his crib by me at night;
He was nursed by me alone.
We can meet his every need,
We can think his every thought;
He's a prize we dearly bought,
The only part of us we own.
We made it very clear:
He was ours from the beginning.

My folks have got me raised for a life of ministry;
I'm not sure it's right for me,
But it's easy to decide.
My mother leads the choir;
I first preached at not-quite-nine.
Daddy said that I'd do fine,
So I flow with time and tide.
I could find some other road,
But I was theirs from the beginning.

When Melissa turned eighteen,
She began to struggle free
From her ingrained destiny
That submerged her life at home.
Now she lives outside Seattle,
Visits home three times a year;
But she's lost to them, they fear,
As their life-sands slip along.
No one left to keep the flame:
Was she theirs from the beginning?

Now, it seems your only choice
Is to join, or else make strife.
Neither way brings joy to life,
Or keeps precious dreams in sight.
So forgive, but find your voice
And cut through the ties that bind;
Give them one last look behind,
And declare with all your might:
"No one alive owns me--
I am mine from the beginning!"

Every infant that I see
Is bound hand and foot and mind--
More convenient to find,
But I hope they hear this thought:
"I wish that I could give you every power, even flight;
For when you begin to fight,
You will face what I have fought.
Just remember through it all:
You are yours from the beginning!"

Never theirs from the beginning,
And no one else's till the end.

*****

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