He stands in the middle of the kitchen floor crying the inconsolable wail that screams HOLD ME! The bottle warmer timer says 10 more seconds. He reaches his arms up, tears starting to flow. The timer chimes. I pick him up and move through the kitchen to the rocker recliner. He doesn’t have many words yet at eighteen months, but it is clear when he needs to be held, comforted.
Drinking the bottle, his breathing slows as his small body begins to unwind. I take a few seconds to match the slower breathing of this small miracle in my arms. In an amazingly short few minutes the bottle is empty. He hands it to me, leans against my chest and climbs up until he is resting his head on my shoulder. His arms drape around me.
The house is quiet. I rock, close my eyes, start to hum. The vibrations in my mouth and throat reverberate in my chest. I experiment with different sounds to feel another vibration. Taking deeper breaths allows me to push the exhale. Humming can be loud or soft, high pitched or not.
In less than a minute I am having fun.
I hum a song I know or just random sounds. Leaning against my chest he can feel the vibrations, too. Resting my head against his while humming, I remember the way sound travels to the ear through the bones of the skull.
The human body is amazing. Humming is fun. Perfect pitch or even an ability to sing not required. Simply humming any sound actually has a relaxing effect on the body. Humming calms the nervous system by acting on the vagus nerve. A marvelous minute of music has often transformed my day.
– Take 30-60 seconds to hum any sounds and notice the vibrations in your body
– Take 60 seconds to match the slow breathing of a child who is sleeping