#parenting

I AM A CHILD...YOUR CHILD

I am a child…your child…and if you’re ever going to help me to grow

then listen to me for a moment…there are some things I’d like you to know.

 

The time I am a child is short…it only lasts a while.

I learn how to be happy from you…I learn how to smile from your smile.

 

As my parents you were my gift…as I was a gift to you

If I see you lie and cheat and steal and swear…chances are I will too.

 

If you abuse me in any way…chances are I will never heal…

I may not remember all the things you do or say

but I’ll never forget how they made me feel.

 

See me…listen to me…show me I matter…spend some quality time with me.

Love me for who I am…not for who you want me to be.

 

You see things a little differently than me…I have more time to play

You know there are 7 wonders in the world…but I see 7 million every day.

 

Your work is important but so am I…I’m not a distraction you can shirk…

In fact when, you stop to think about it,…I…am your most important work.

 

Most of all teach me to be accepting and kind

because, when I’m no longer a child…I want to comprehend

how to be a good person…a good husband, a good wife…and…a good friend.

 

Well, this is about the end of this list…the latest one I have complied…

I’m sorry if I’m skipping all over the place…but remember…I’m just a child

 

Since I only have one childhood…and it only lasts a short while

wouldn’t it be great if, when I’m an adult…I can look back on my childhood…

and smile?

 

Oh, one more thing…I almost forgot…just something in your memory to keep…

Always…always…always  kiss me goodnight…

 

even if I’m already asleep.


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WHEN YOUR BABY'S SICK

There are trials and errors in parenting…

Good times…bad times…we don’t always get to pick..

The times our children are happy…the times when they are sick.

 

When our baby is sick…there’s a helplessness we feel

As we hover over their bedside…wondering if this is real…

 

Listening to their breathing…looking for signs of hope upon their face…

Saying: “If there is any way we could stop this…we’d gladly take their place.” 

 

When our child is sick, we still feel helpless…we worry, we fret, we stew…

We try to meet their every need…as we wonder:

Is there more that we can do?

 

When our teenager is sick,…by now you think we’d be at ease…

but we’re still concerned over every fever…every cough and every sneeze.

 

When they become adults and they are sick…and they call to tell us on the phone

we try to hide our worry…now that they are fully grown…

 

But we can’t…and we subtly remind them

something we hope they never will forget…

that they will always be our baby…

no matter how big or old they get.

 

Yes, there are trials and errors in parenting

and only a parent can comprehend…

how the joys we share are amazing…

and how the worry…never ends.

 

 

ALL THEY EVER NEEDED

He worked hard all his life…so many hours on his feet….

trying to make enough money so all his ends could meet.

 

He was proud of the work he’d done…and was usually undaunted

as he provided his family with everything they ever needed…

If not everything they ever wanted.

 

But now his life was coming to an end…and with his children gathered round

he asked them all one question…accompanied by a frown…

 

“I wonder, have you all been happy?” he asked,

“I know how often we’ve been poor….

when I look back on our life together…

I wanted to give you so much more…”

 

“I tried hard and I’m sorry for all the things you’ve been denied

All those things you may have wanted…all those things I couldn’t provide.”

 

The eldest daughter stopped him…and wiped a tear from off his eye.

“Poppa”, she said, “stop right there…Poppa,” she said, “don’t cry…”

 

“We know how much you loved us…have no regrets no fear…

for whenever we needed or wanted you…we knew that you’d be here.”

 

“You were here to share our laughter…you were here to share our tears

You were here to relish in our joys…you were here to ease our fears…”

 

“The children all moved closer…their expressions gracious and undaunted

“Poppa,” they said, “you gave us your time….

which is all we ever wanted.”

 

“We know how hard you worked…

there’s no reason to be sad

because as hard as you worked to provide for us…

you worked that much harder at being Dad.”

 

Yes, he thought the work he did was important…

and it was…but in the end his children all conceded…

The time he spent being just being Dad…

was all they ever needed.

 

 

 

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FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

As we watch our children head off to a new school year…

no matter what their age…

we realize in the book of life…we have turned another page…

 

For there are moments when we comprehend…life is never slowing up…

moments when it hits us…. how fast they’re growing up..

 

And we wonder as we watch them go…as they learn to add, subtract…to read…

Are they ready for this adventure?

Have we given them all they need?

 

Have we taught them how to be happy? 

How helping others will astound?

Do they know to do the right thing…even when no one else is ‘round?

 

Do they know that in their own way…they are each a shining star?

Do they know that they are beautiful…just the way they are?

 

Have we taught them how to dream big?

How to reach up to the sky? 

Do they know everyone worries sometimes…and it’s okay to cry?

 

Do they know as we watch them walk away…

as another new school year starts…

how sometimes the smallest things in life…

take up the most room in our hearts?

 

Yes, there are so many things we’d like them to understand…

as off to school they roam…

but perhaps the most important is knowing…

we’ll always be here when they come home.

 

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HOW I GROW UP

Have you ever stopped to wonder…

as my world gradually expands

that the person I grow up to be…

is totally in your hands?

 

If you want me to be affectionate…

someone you’ll always be proud of…

then your hands must teach me kindness, 

teach me compassion, 

teach me love.

 

If you want me to grow up without prejudice

without bigotry and hatred too…

then your hands must be accepting

must be tolerant and true…

 

If you want me to grow up to be generous…

with helping hands that care…

then I must see your hands give to others…

I must see them share.

 

If you want me to grow up to be creative…

to think for myself…again and again…

then you must let me get my hands get a little dirty…

and messy now and then.

 

Yes, isn’t it amazing…

as my world gradually expands

That the person I grow up to be

 

Is totally in your hands.


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STEP PARENTS

Yesterday Taylor’s step mom, Maria, wrote him on his birthday

a fact all step parents know to be true…

She wrote: “I didn’t give you the gift of life…

life gave me the gift of you.”

 

Deborah and I are parents and step-parents

but long ago we all agreed

there are no steps between us

because we’re all one family…

 

Because when it comes to family

at least the family we’re part of

we love the children we helped create…

and the ones we chose to love.

 

Because we want all our children to know

even the ones without our DNA

that when it comes to loving them

we’ll be there…every step of the way…

 

That’s why we echo Maria’s words to Taylor…

for we know them to be true…

We may not have given you the gift of life….

 

but life has given us the gift of you…

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WHAT DO CHILDREN KNOW OF LOVE

What do our children know of love?

It’s a mesmerizing thought.

For everything they know of love…

is what they have been taught.

 

It is the same with honesty and kindness,

compassion and charity…

The same with tenderness and forgiving

the same with humanity…

 

Parents, we have a great responsibility…

but consider this a plus…

for what they know of love

is what they learn from us.

 

That our children learn of love from watching us

is profound to contemplate…

as long as we remember…

 

it also works with hate.

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A BUCKET OF ESTEEM

She grew up a happy child…in a happy home…

her own wonderland.

She loved nothing more than to walk the beach and play with her bucket in the sand.

 

Her parents allowed her to be happy, to play, to think…to dream

and turned her bucket in the sand…

into a bucket of esteem.

 

They began too fill her bucket with things they thought worthwhile.

In it they would drop a touch…a hug…a kiss…a smile…

 

Every moment spent together…doing nothing…having fun

watching clouds, counting stars…playing in the sun.

 

And everything they ever said to her…meant to make her smile

meant to make her dream…

seemed to find a home…in her bucket of esteem.

 

Wow! I’m proud of you! Great job!…You’re reaching for the sky!

I knew you could do it! I trust you! Congratulations!…Nice try!

 

As her bucket began to fill up…and then to overflow

the smile never left her face and her esteem began to grow.

 

Today her parents look at her and smile…

and if you happen to ask them why…

they’ll say: We’re confident whatever happens…

Her bucket will never run dry.

 

And so I wonder:

 

As we think about how to raise our children…

how to help them to be happy…

how to help them dream… 

Perhaps the best gift we could give them…

is a bucket of esteem.

 

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SHADOWS

One characteristic shared by the sun and moon,

despite the obvious: they’re round,

is when they occupy the sky

they cast shadows on the ground.

 

They paint their shadows in black and white

from sunrises to moonsets…

constantly shifting shadows

ever changing silhouettes.

 

Their shadows are sometimes tall and wide.

At times they dance a beautiful ballet.

Every now and then they seem to hide.

And periodically they fade away.

 

Is this just one more example 

of Mother Nature’s reach?

Or could this be another lesson

she is trying desperately to teach?

 

As parents sometimes the shadow we cast

needs to reach out far and wide.

Sometimes it needs to shorten up,

other times to hide.

 

Our shadows are here to help our children

to dance a beautiful ballet

so our children can cast their own shadows

once our shadows fade away.

 

Mother Nature’s wisdom is amazing

she constantly astounds…

like reminding us while on her soil

we are but shadows on the ground.

 

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