Thursday, May 19, 2011

That Mom

I know what it feels like to be that mom
The one with the bad kids
enduring glances, always sidelong, fleeting
from acquaintances and strangers

To be told—never directly—
it's all my fault
that I don’t discipline
that I should have stayed home

To have tried everything
of sticker charts and point systems and coupons
that work for a while and then don’t

To be criticized for overdiagnosing
a string of acronyms
as if I want to give my children drugs
and spend hours at appointments
as if it gives me justification

And still to have a sixth grade girl
punch me repeatedly
in a crowded, well-lit room
and have to pull her out of an event
that three-year-olds
are successfully enjoying

To have a fourth grader run
away from teachers
out of the building
or into the bathroom, feet up, angry

I’m not looking for special privileges
or pity
or even understanding
A little acceptance, maybe—
I guess I'm human, after all.

I know what it feels like to be that mom
The one who laughs until sides ache and tears roll
hugs away disappointments and fears
hears time and again “I love you”

To be awed by a daughter’s wild creativity
vivid expression

To be humbled by a son’s enormous heart
compelling earnestness

I know what it feels like to be that mom
The one who is doing her best
whose best is not perfect
whose best is enough


  1. Bek-


    -That Dad

  2. I think your closing line says it all.

  3. (And P.S., I agree with "That Dad".) ;)

  4. Stef--The negative stuff came out first: fast and furious. It wasn't until I was relaxing on a massage table that the second section about how marvelous it is to parent my children drifted to mind. That last four lines was my way of reconciling the two...