My mom passed on this beautiful poem to me and my sister to remind us, when life gets busy, frustrating, tedious, etc. with kids, just how special it is to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. She found this poem among my grandmother’s belongings while cleaning out their house for sale, clipped from an old Ann Landers column, yellowed but preserved in a little plastic frame.
To put it in perspective, my grandmother had 7 children in 12 years, not counting those that were taken before birth. She lived on a farm, washing all the laundry by hand, baking bread to sell to neighbours just to get by, heating water for baths….yet she felt she could have taken more time for the little things in her children’s lives.
If she could do all that and still think there was more time for play, I certainly have no excuse of being “too busy”, and this poem reminds me that it really won’t matter to my kids in the long run if the laundry was always done promptly, dinner always ready at the same time, cookies on the counter, shelves always dusted…what they will remember is whether I made them feel special, important, loved and worthy of my time.
I pray they will indeed remember me for that.
“To My Grown-up Son”
My hands were busy through the day;
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me to share your fun
I’d say, “A little later, son.”
I’d tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door…
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past…
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear…
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.