13 January 2013

Grown Up, Ready or Not


You were a sturdy soul right from birth,
hefty, substantial, a force to be reckoned with.
Your eyes took in the world purposely
from your first moments, you latched
onto my breast and drank with such
certitude that I was sure you were here
before, a wise one reborn to accomplish
what was left undone and wouldn't be this time.
This time you moved with inner
direction, sure- stepped architect of
a particular path that you alone knew.
I was intimidated when you looked at me
with your not me eyes. I picked you, you said,
let's do this. I was necessary but never
consulted or copied, a reference
point that kept your path true but utterly yours.
I don't know how you accomplished it,
but I knew from that first look you took,
my heart helpless with love, that this
was my life's work, up to it or not, and I'd better
love you in the way that helped you do this hard
but essential thing or you'd find someone who would.

This is in response to Stuart over at dVerse Poets Pub who asked us to write about growing up. This was the moment when I had to grow up, when I gave birth to Kelly. Being her mother is my favorite role so far. It is she who taught me the truth of E.E.Cummings quote: "It takes courage to grow up and become the person we really are." Also offered for open link Monday at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.



44 comments:

  1. What a truly loving poem about parenting! Interesting, isn't it, how sometimes one can tell certain things about a child from the time they are VERY young.

    (And very nice photo, by the way!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true- from very young. She had her own path and way to travel it. I admire her.

      Delete
  2. what a wonderful capture of your relationship and her character...and a lovely pic as well..and great quote to go with it.. it def. takes courage to grow up and help someone grow up and encourage them to find their way and spread their wings as well...sounds like you did a good job..smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took courage for both of us to grow up. I'm just glad we got to do it together.

      Delete
  3. Descriptive beyond words or sentiments i could find, thats why we need people like you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, CC, what a nice thing to say.

      Delete
  4. What a sweet poem, and the picture is wonderful. I love the phrase "helpless with love." I know that one. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it the truth? Aren't we just smitten?!

      Delete
  5. I relate to you so much. i also have a daughter who whirled me into adulthood. Love the photo, you both seem so connected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, whirled. We are deeply connected but not because we're so much alike. I'm glad we're friends at this point, though. It took work on both of our parts. Good for us!

      Delete
  6. I'd better
    love you in the way that helped you do this hard
    but essential thing or you'd find someone who would....wow what a close...and in this i think i know her because you do a good job capturing her character indirectly in this....big smiles on your feelings for your child...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sometimes felt that I wasn't up to the challenge, but, of course, I wanted to be. For her, my sweet heart.

      Delete
  7. we appreciate people and often find their accomplishments hard to fathom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she's so other and different than me, but I love and admire her.

      Delete
  8. That's our job, whether we're ready or not. Sounds like you done good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I've done is keep up and kept in relationship with her. I'm grateful.

      Delete
  9. ...'I was sure you were here before'...'looked at me with not me eyes'...'I picked you, let's do this'...these exact things happened to me!! My daughter was my 2nd child so I had already grown up, but there's something so special about having that connection take place right after birth...in fact, one feeling I had was that she was my mother, mentor...;)Nice photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She has been my teacher in many ways.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. It's complex actually. I'm proud of her- deeply- but the experience of otherness and decisions so different than mine continue to challenge me.

      Delete
  11. wow... I hope you show this to your daughter. So honest and powerful. The connection between a mother and daughter is spelled out so clearly...as you say, it is a lifes work, but it must be one of the most hardest, albeit rewarding jobs in the world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will show it to her. Thanks for this prompt which helped me put words on this connection. Hard, yes, and rewarding.

      Delete
  12. I'm not a mother but if I was, I'd hope to capture it just as you have here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a sweet thing to say. Thank you.

      Delete
  13. What a lovely poem so filled with wonder and with love! And I love the picture of the two of you. She so resembles you and yet is definitely unique. Giving birth and being a parent is an experience, regrettably, I've never had -- but I sure enjoy reading about yours! So beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy. It's one of those life changing events. Glad you stopped by.

      Delete
  14. What lovely retrospective on your relationship with your daughter. The "Love" in it is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lou and thanks. Yes, the love of your child is like no other.

      Delete
  15. So beautiful...makes me think of my own strong daughter. Such blessings in this life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those strong willed daughters- a challenge and a blessing.

      Delete
  16. Your words resonated with me....I grew up too with my first born ~

    And that is a lovely shot, thanks for sharing them ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ready or not! The photo was taken in Antigua and it's one of my favorites.

      Delete
  17. Thanks for this wonderfully poetic insight into your life and your relationship with your daughter, Kelly. It is a privilege to have been invited to share this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It's one of the unexpected benefits of sharing poetry. I appreciate you dropping by and taking the time to read and comment.

      Delete
  18. Lovely. Beautiful daughter. I have two of them! So lucky! Thanks much. k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's something special in raising girls, at least for me. Yes, I'm lucky.

      Delete
  19. An amazing telling of a mother's path, even though it seems to be the daughter's. Open and honest and big-hearted.

    http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2013/01/14/in-three/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim. I'm glad she chose me as her mother. It made me bigger, for sure. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  20. I love this. It fits perfectly together with the people I know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is high praise indeed- thank you.

      Delete
  21. Kelly was only three when she said, "You think your thoughts, and I'll think my thoughts." We knew we would have our hands full - both then and now. She has sought and followed her own path all her life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That she has and it causes both admiration and consternation but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

      Delete

Let's chat.