Simply Sunday

Listening

Two of us
Together
In the kitchen
Making coffee
Cleaning
Cooking
Breakfast
Blueberry pancakes
Bacon and eggs

Our grown-up
Children
Together
Around the table
Laughing
Comparing
Embarrassing
Stories
Old and new

My heart
Quiet
Listening
Voicing
Silent prayers
For contentment
Over ones
Forever
Part of us

Everyone home this weekend. Happy mom. ❤️

Summer Morning Surprises

Cool summer morning
Pleasant surprise
Family of birds
Playing happily
In a nearby tree
Begins to circle
The sky in flight
Darting up
Dashing down
Dancing together
Like children
In a game of
Ring around the Rosie
Upon their return
To the safety
Of familiar branches
The welcoming tree
Like a wise grandmother
Rocking on the porch
Shakes with laughter
At their homecoming
Knowing they will not
Live with her forever
Especially
The young ones
For soon, they will
Find their own mates
Build their own nests
Perhaps in
A nearby tree
Perhaps not
For now, she accepts
The importance
Of protecting
While preparing
For the day
They fly away
Hopefully
Another lovely
Pleasant surprise
Cool summer morning

Full-Circle Photo

Some photographs represent full-circle moments in life. I received one of those this week from my daughter.

Graduations are a big deal at our house. Times for celebrating with family and friends. Eating cake and opening presents. Looking back and ahead at the same time.

All three of our children graduated from Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Union knows how to celebrate its graduates. The name of each senior is displayed on placards on the school lawn. Balloon drops and confetti cover the sea of red gowns as caps are tossed in the air!

My husband, Gart, was one of the high school principals for our first two. He handed all three kids their diplomas as they walked across the stage. We have a wall of pictures in our living room to remind us of these momentous occasions.

I have not given a lot of thought to other Union graduations since our family’s celebrations. Until this year…

When I began my teaching career at Union, I taught special education. My five years in this field were challenging and life-changing. That was twelve years ago.

My daughter, Rachel, is finishing her second year as a special education teacher at Union. She spent her high school years as a peer tutor in the very same classrooms. The picture from my daughter was taken during graduation practice. She was standing in the middle of her very first group of graduating seniors. Three of whom were in my class in elementary school.

This full-circle photo was a powerful reminder. As an elementary school teacher, I need to picture my students walking across that stage. And as a parent, I need to celebrate the impact my own children make on this old world. ❤

Morning Thoughts

Leaving for work
This morning
Car packed for
A weekend
Road trip
Thoughts already
At the end of today
Think I’ll send
A text to Mom
See you tonight!

Little cardinal
Crosses my path
His brightness
Could not
Be ignored
His fluffy
Red feathers
Taking off
From the ground
Made me smile
Slow down as
I drove out of
The neighborhood
Rachel says every time
She sees a cardinal
It reminds her
Of her Papa

Holding My Breath

An absolute
Necessity
Without it
My days
Are done
And yet
Once you
Came along
I learned
A new way
Of holding it-
Not the way
Of childhood
Mad jumping
Up and down
Cheeks puffed
Face turning blue
No-this holding
Was different-
Unable to sleep
Tiptoeing into
Your room
Late at night
Staring into
The darkness
Careful not
To breathe
Until I could see
Your tiny chest
Steadily rising
Up and down
Making sure
You were
Breathing

My kids are grown, but I remember those moments vividly. Sneaking into their rooms to make sure they were still breathing. And although those days are long gone, there are still times when I hold my breath for them.
Times when things aren’t quite going their way. Times when their hearts hurt. Times when they have big decisions to make or finals to take. That is the beauty of parenting. I will always be their mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

Safely Home

Late-night drive
The road seems
Unfamiliar
In the dark
Solitary-the only
Travelers on this
Winding route-
Friendly visit
Lasted longer
Than expected
Necessitated
Driving home
In darkness-
Baby boy in
The backseat
Begins to cry
Mom sings
Familiar hymns
Lullabies
On repeat
Easing the fears
Of them both
As an oversized
Full moon
Illuminating
The entire sky
Follows them
Down the dark
Unfamiliar road
Until safely home

Today’s prompt: write a poem that is about, or that involves, the moon. Even now, twenty-six years later, I remember this drive as if it were yesterday. ❤

For more prompts and info check out https://www.napowrimo.net/.

The Same Effect

I hear her laughing
As if it was
Yesterday
Sweet, innocent
Belly laughs
Heard mostly
From happy babies
Which is funny
Because she
Was not always
The happiest of babies
At least, in
The beginning
Until I became
Happier, a more
Relaxed mom
Or maybe
The opposite
Is true, maybe
Her laughter
Came first
It’s a funny thing
Laughter-
When seen
As well as heard
It changes everything
From the inside out
To the outside in-
Come to think of it
Her grown-up laughter
Has the same effect

I am a little late to the game.  This is Day 6 of Global Poetry Writing Month.  Click here https://www.napowrimo.net/ for more information and prompts.

Today’s prompt: Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

“Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.”
Les Misérables, Victor Hugo

Forever Sharing

My heart used to
Think letting go
Was harder than
Holding on-
Moments I wished
Could last forever-
Nothing lasts forever
No matter how
Tightly gripped-
Experience taught me
Tighter the grip
Greater the chances
Of shattering
The treasured into
A million tiny pieces-
I am learning to hold
Precious moments with
A more gentle touch
Like cuddling
A newborn baby
Or caressing
Weathered hands-
Where joy slowly fills
The heart to overflowing
Seeping out of every pore
Spilling onto anyone
Who comes near
A limitless circle
Of holding close
Then letting go-
Hmmm…maybe…
Sharing is forever

Hands

So much of life’s stories
Are revealed in our hands-
My Dad’s hands
Are rough, strong
Years of wood, saws,
Hammers and nails
The story of a carpenter
My Mom’s hands
Are softer, achy from arthritis
Years of cleaning, cooking,
Caring, calculating, typing-
The story of a working mom
What about my hands?
I know what my hands have done-
But what story do others see?
What story do my children see?
I hope the most important one-
Holding their tiny hands
As their story began

Like Flying a Kite

It has been years since I have flown a kite. I remember many experiences as a kid, a parent, and even a teacher. Each one brought a different level of wonder. Running and watching with excitement as my kite took flight. Watching the excitement on the face of a child having the same experience.

Just picture it! See the kite itself, whipping in the wind, freely flying, having the time of its life. See the person standing firmly on the ground, holding the handle, making it all possible.

The person holds the handle tightly, releasing string at just the right amount at just the right time. Working hard while also enjoying the freedom displayed by the kite.

One time my cousin, Jimmy, and I were flying a kite. It was the perfect day. We held that handle so tight, guiding the kite as it traveled up to the clouds. Such a fun memory!

Until…the kite string, not tied to the handle, ran out. Our kite went on quite a journey! We watched until it flew out of sight, never to be seen again.

I suppose parenting is a bit like flying that kite. I held the kite string firm as my children grew and pulled away. My job was to guide, gradually giving more and more freedom. I was really just preparing to let them go all along.

There is one big difference. The kids often circle back and wave hello. Exactly how it should be. ❤

These ideas have been floating around in my head for a while. Since my youngest son, Ryan, turns twenty tomorrow, it seemed like an appropriate time to share. Happy Birthday, Ryan! 🙂 We love you!