Thursday, April 03, 2008

NaPoWriMo #3: children

Today I'm teaching a poetry lesson at the homeschooling group we belong to, and I've been looking at several anthologies of children's poetry. At first I thought about trying to write a kid's poem for today but when I sat down at the keyboard, something else came out. I guess I needed catharsis for events earlier this week, and I liked the prose poetry form I tried yesterday, so... heres's what happened.

No and Yes

No one could have warned me I wouldn’t have listened my need to take myself too seriously would also cripple me as a parent I wouldn’t have heard because I was the one always shushing her kids in church grocery store library waiting room restaurants lying to myself manners do matter but deep down and I’d never admit it I was worried about being judged like I used to judge before it was me irony not lost of being more concerned about being perfect than being loving had to discover for myself how hard it was to let down my hair and simply play pull faces sing silly songs sure we went to parks read stories but I struggled always so responsible bossy stern severe even shushing at home where there was no need my wake up call came one night when I was tucking my son into bed he wanted me to sing a song his dad had sung the night before making up wrong words and sending him into shrieks of hysterical laughter but mom you’re not allowed sing the silly words he said only the regular words and each night if I tried he stopped me again.

Yes that was when I started to change do my own PR and mean it meet your new funny mom she cooks, washes laundry even does windows started to peel back layers of a smelly serious regular onion protecting my inner secret silly self from whatever I was scared of somehow now we’re all having more fun except when I relapse like Monday at my son’s yearly check up I didn’t shush only reminded him hold my hand in the parking lot watch where you’re going use your inside voice but didn’t make time to listen to I don’t want to go to the doctor mom just told him honey we need to be sure you’re healthy no shots this time it will be easy weight height blood pressure ears heart beat that’s all but I didn’t listen to his fears just pressed forward being responsible my heart contracted when completely uncooperative he cried and hid behind the exam table oh how I wanted to do the same as our pediatrician so helpfully recommended parenting classes a session actually starting this week I think the issue here might be C-O-N-T-R-O-L I whispered the doctor growing impatient shook his head you’re too hard on yourself be more in control these classes will help I drove home seething at his five minute diagnosis temples aching questioning myself while my son had already moved on now danger had passed.

No I’m not taking classes and yes I’m going to listen more tell jokes read stories blow bubbles finger paint do underdogs sing funny words make silly eyes hug kiss cuddle more and try try try to keep shushing to a minimum.


aubrey said...

katie, i really liked this. i liked the flow of it and how it mirrors your life. i feel like i am constantly struggling to find the mom i want to be. it's good to know that others struggle a little bit too.

Dory said...

Katie, this was so touching. It really spoke to me of the vulnerability that I feel as a mother. It also reminded me of how important it is not to take it all too seriously, which is a constant struggle in the face of social pressures. I loved this poem. Thankyou.