Category Archives: child care

For Everyone’s Sake


I was the one loudmouth parent
on the playground today,
the one asking the big kids
to be safe on the slides
so that the little kids
wouldn’t copy their dangerous moves.
I was the loudmouth
asking the ten year old girl
to stop throwing full bottles of water
at the playground equipment–
with a dozen other kids
playing close by, in range of her missiles.
I wondered why more adults weren’t
monitoring and stepping in…
I thought about bystander apathy
and how they must reason “It’s not my kid.”
I was a big loudmouth stranger to those kids,
but I ended up playing frisbee with a couple of them…
maybe, even though I was a nuisance to them,
stepping in and diverting their daredevil plans,
maybe they nonetheless respected me in some way,
as the one adult who saw them
and asked them to be safe for everyone’s sake.


P.S. ┬áDo YOU tell other people’s kids how to act right when no one else is doing it?

Those Mothers


Those mothers who manage
to write, sing, paint, dance,
practice yoga, cook, garden,
etc. etc. etc.
with their children around–
how do they do it?
Am I an oddball for wanting silence
when I write
or when I’m trying to learn new music?
Am I strange for wanting to be alone
when I roll out my mat to practice asana
(so that no one will be crawling all over me)?
When it’s 5pm and I have no idea what to make for dinner
and my kids are relentless in their lists of needs
am I a failure because I lose my temper?
No, I think I’m pretty normal.
But how do they do it,
those mothers who manage to create
with their living creations
making all that racket?
How do they do it?

Motherhood is Letting Go


Time is flying
but we don’t notice
because it all unfolds
in this one moment.
I look at you, my children,
and cannot believe
how much you’ve grown.
Every moment of motherhood
a giving away,
a letting go.
Celebrating your steps,
your leaps and bounds,
knowing that someday
you’ll fly away
and I’ll have only the memory
of your tiny hands
reaching out to me
asking for the comfort of my arms.
It takes every ounce of courage
to not hold on too tight.
I don’t want my love to be a cage
that obscures the light you need
to flourish.
So I hold you when you let me
and breathe and let you go
when you’re ready to stand on your own.
Every moment of motherhood
a giving away,
a letting go.

Patience Not Perfect


I’d like to say I’m an adept,
but sorrowfully, I am not.
I yell at my kids still.
Especially when it’s about 4 pm
and my son has peed his pants
for the sixth time that day
and my daughter is wildly
flinging toys left and right
leaving landmines in my path
as I attempt to manage the chaos.
I’d like to say I’m patient
when I’m tired beyond belief
and there is no respite in sight,
and when I dare to attempt to rest,
closing my eyes
for just fifteen minutes
both of my children team up and destroy
the basement–
couch cushions everywhere,
toys everywhere,
complete disorder.
I’d like to say that my years of
daily meditation,
yoga studies,
and just growing older
have cured me of my reactivity,
but no–
I’m still reactive.
Only now,
I can see it, and I can feel it more.
I also apologize to my kids
for yelling at them and scaring them.
I am not the pinnacle of patience,
but I do know enough about it
to realize that if I can tap into its source
just a little bit more,
I might learn how
to love myself unconditionally.

Sunset First Aid


Inside I wanted to scream
but on the outside I remained calm
as I spoke in soothing tones
to my boy whose finger was gushing blood.

Instead of going to sleep right away
after I tucked him in for the night
he got out of bed and
managed to pinch his pinky finger tip
in the folding door of his closet

cries of pain
sent me running upstairs

finger tip blue and awful looking,
split skin
blood on his other hand
blood on his pajamas,
now blood on me,
and I couldn’t see…

two friends who had come over for dinner
were downstairs helping us to install a light fixture
and of course
lights were out while working on the wiring

so we stepped outside in the sunset
and I administered first aid in the dying light
mother, healer, soother,
I managed to remain calm
even though inside I wanted to scream

Public Uncertainty


She is five now,
my little baby is five.
Monday we will register her for kindergarten.
I’m scared.

All of these forms are a nuisance,
but that’s not what I’m scared about.
I’m scared that the public school system will ruin her.

I worked there, in the public school system,
for five years
I worked hard there,
and I took care of my students, I loved them.
But will she be loved?

She is so vibrant, so creative–
will that spark be nurtured?

I contemplate home schooling,
letting her move when she needs to move,
eat when she’s hungry,
rest when she’s tired.

What will happen
when she is hungry and it isn’t time to eat,
or she’s tired and it isn’t time to rest,
or she wants to move and leap and dance,
and she is told to “SIT DOWN!” ?

What then?
Will she turn into me,
wanting to eat,
wanting to rest,
wanting to move,
wanting to create,
and always waiting for permission?

I’m scared.