With Mother's Day having just come and gone, I have to say my kids inspire me in many ways.
This poem came out of the fact that I keep opening cupboards and finding empty packages strewn about, and then I remembered...
A Mother’s Wish
I open doors
scan shelves and find
empty bags, plastic trays
and cardboard remnants.
of children’s appetites.
When I was young, clues
of where and what I’d been
were strewn about the house.
My mother wished, aloud,
that I would have children
just like me.
No fairy godmother needed here.
S. Cole 2016
I think the Rolling Stones got it right. We can’t always get what we want. After a lot of reflection and observation, it seems, we’re often given the children we need: children that will open our minds to others. The love we have for our offspring may make us develop acceptance for traits we’ve come to understand over time and with effort.
The Grey Sheep of my Family
I’ve always been dreamy and distracted. I don’t necessarily live in the space my body inhabits. The books I read constantly transport me. As a child, reading Anne of Green Gables drove me out to the abandoned apple orchard beside the house to collect boughs in full bloom which I laid across my dresser. I didn’t think of the bugs in them or that they’d dry out dropping leaves, petals, and bark around our wall-to-wall carpeted house, but I heard about it upon the initial discovery of my artistic addition.
A job that I was supposed to be working on would be abandoned part way through, not because I didn’t intend to finish it, but on the way to get a tool, I may have come across a book I’d left on a table. My mother said my actions could always be tracked by what I’d left behind.
The time I walked home, blithely traipsing across the neighbours freshly tarred driveway was only because I sometimes read while walking. Nobody put yellow tape down the side of the driveway in case I was cutting across it and the lawn to our front door, nose in a book.
These traits may have been fine in another home, maybe, but in my childhood home, the rules were black and white. There was only one spot to file a form, not many depending on the aspect you focused on. Jobs had specific protocols, and my way didn't follow them. If we had a family job day, after about a half an hour I was asked if I wanted to go read. I was usually more work than the job itself and quite happy to get out of the way.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t feel appreciated or loved. In my final year of high school I scratched the car again and my father, who wires houses, builds perfect walkways and edges the walls when painting without tape asked me to go interview people and write an essay on how to fix scratches on cars for my punishment. Although you might not know it, this was love.
He didn’t like to write, and I don’t remember him ever reading when I was a child. If he had to write something, my mother edited it for him, but he sent me out to do what worked for me. Did he love that I found people used nail polish and White Out to fix minor scratches on their cars? No, but he laughed at their stories and only made me pay for a portion of the damage.
Who Am I?
I'm a Teacher Librarian and Grade 7 Language Teacher.
Many thanks to these forums which inspire, educate and promote collaboration & communication!