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Archive for January 29th, 2014

TIE

 
























You were beautiful, 
my tiny child, 
wrapped tightly in my arms, 
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
Helpless, 
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.

Will you hear me
when I cry out? 
Will you hold me close
as I held you then? 

I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway, 
cautiously, 
and introduced
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run? 
no longer work? 
Will you realize
that I love
freedom too? 

I laugh
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.

I am proud too, 
of my writing
and my drawing, 
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you? 
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth? 
Will you be proud of me too? 

I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however, 
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.

But 
I'm afraid.
I forgot
whether I took
my pills today or not.
I forgot
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
My mind
is my treasure
the only thing I have left, 
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am? 

You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love, 
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.

I too have a
broken heart.
The love of my life
left me after
fifty-six years.
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.

You welcomed her home today- 
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
to visit.
It has been a while.

You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
and ask
almost desperately, 

"Will she tie my
shoes
when I get old? "

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GROWING UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

Gillian and I were talking before bed the other night, and I asked, mostly rhetorically, if there’s a point when you stop feeling like a kid and start feeling more like a grown-up, whatever a grown-up is. I think for me (and probably most people), a grown-up is simply someone that’s a certain amount older than you. When I started kindergarten, those fifth-graders in the back of the bus were sooo big. In middle school, it was the eighth-graders, and when I walked into high school as a freshman, the seniors seemed like they were part of another world. Of course, when I actually reached fifth, then eighth, then twelfth grade, I didn’t feel very old.

The same is still true. We’re knocking on 30 here in the next couple years, which seemed like a lifetime away 10 years ago, but now that we’re almost there, not so much. I guess, in a sense, it is a lifetime away, because we’re really full-fledged adults now, and the things that we were worrying about in high school and college seem so trivial now. Which brings me back to my original question? Sure, we’re adults now, but when do you start feeling it? I still feel like I’m a kid (and if you ask S, perhaps I still am), but heck – we have a kid of our own now, I’ve had a full-time job for seven years, we own two homes, and nobody is responsible for us but ourselves. Somehow we made that transition relatively seamlessly and have managed to stay afloat.

As we were talking about this, I had another realization – that even though I still feel a lot like a kid, there are still some aspects in which I wish we could be even more childlike. I watch C every day, and his joy and energy are infectious. Can he make me want to pull my hair out? Absolutely, and he seems to relish it.

But mostly, he’s just doing what he was born to do.

He gets excited about the smallest things – snow, airplanes, balloons, seeing the dog every morning, Christmas lights, his stuffed monkey bath time; they all bring a smile and a “woooo” sound of delight.

His curiosity is boundless – he explores every path, tries new things daily, pushes the limits that we set for him.

He doesn’t hold grudges or have prejudices toward anyone – it may take him a minute to warm up to strangers (or it may not), but soon he’ll be holding a gibberish conversation with the lady he just met in the store.

He trusts us unconditionally.

Even though he does it unconsciously, he treats every new day like it may be his last, and if it’s going to be, then he might as well make sure he lives to his fullest.

In short, there’s a lot he can teach me. Whether I realize it or not, every day I’m trying to put limits on what he can or can’t do. Don’t throw your cup. Put your toys away. Don’t hit the dog. Obviously, some things are for his well-being, but some of them seem kind of arbitrarily set. Instead of trying to teach him, should we be going to him for instruction? I kinda believe that when I look at him, in many ways I’m seeing what humanity was meant to be in its purest form. Joy. Love. Curiosity. Bright blue eyes twinkling with laughter. I realize that as you grow up, life can surely beat you down, and you have new responsibilities and problems all the time, and sometimes you can get overwhelmed to the point of wanting to curl up and cry, but does it always have to be that way?

I think, no matter how old, everyone has a spark of that original joy and mystery and excitement, which is maybe why I still feel like I could be a kid. In some people, I think it gets so suppressed that they don’t realize it’s still there, but it is. Life gets in the way most of the time, but maybe I should let C take the reins once in a while, and forget about the mess and how childish it may seem to my far superior, grown-up mind (sarcasm, in case you missed it), and just run and play and be silly with him. Now of course, I’m not suggesting that you can just abandon everything and go be a hermit. With growing up comes some modicum of responsibility, whether we like it or not. But I am suggesting that we don’t always have to take life so seriously that we don’t enjoy it.

Did I answer my question? I’m not sure. But I’m not sure I need an answer.

HAVE YOU GOT THE ANSWER

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