Now, Children

We think our kids are just an extension of us—

What folly that is, how vain.


When born, they conjure within us


As they grow, we realize

They are not us—they are more,

They are the greatest teachers

We could ever have,

Even when they are scribbling

With ball point pens on the kitchen wall,

throwing tantrums

In the produce isle,

Cheating on their math



Somehow, they learn to please us, yet

Know exactly how to hurt us.

And we, we smile through it. 

When they stay out too late,

Or call at midnight to say

they’ve wrecked the car,

Or lost their keys, or need some money,

We quickly remember when they

Said “Happy Mother’s Day” or can I help?

Wait, have they ever us asked that?

But they have done plenty.

They have

Proudly shown us their drawings,

Brought home good grades, or at least

Nice comments from the teacher,

Helped a friend who needs their time,

They call their sister or tell their brother

They love them.

Remember the time they helped out

The food pantry or the blood or bone marrow drive

Or taught art to the kindergarten class,

Or did magic tricks at the children’s hospital?

People think parents had something to do

With that.  Children do good works in

The world, which we, the parents, often

Receive credit. 


We were as surprised as anyone.


They are their own selves. They love, hurt,

help, honor, make mistakes and make the

world better.


They are so human and that, I suppose,

Is how they are just like us.


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