A Poem For Daughters

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago to express my navigation through some transitional phases as a mother. Being a mom is the best, hardest, most challenging, most rewarding job ever.

For My Daughter:

Your tiny hand
Ceases to grip my thumb.
Your fingers
Stretch past my own,
And you stand taller,
Like a Distant Mountain.
I look up to see into your face,
And you say it is strange to put your arm around me,
Your short mother.

Like a helicopter, I hover.
And when you look to the sky,
You do not see me,
But oppression.
You crave freedom:
Pure, simple freedom.
This pilot retreats to a Mountain Lake,
Reflecting on how to change,
How to let you go.

I shed three tears, but not for sorrow--
(You will always be my Daughter).
One tear is for regret, that I ever treated you ill.
One tear is for you,
The eggshells on which you walk,
The ice you fear to break.
And one for me:
Mothering has been my all for fifteen years.
What am I to do now?

I walk down the Mountain Path,
Leaving the helicopter behind forever.
Grounded, I make plans for my new life,
Knowing you are nearby,
Making plans of your own.

I will open up to you--
Like a book of poems--
Thoughts and feelings that make up my world,
Not a textbook or instruction manual for life
Written by me.
I look forward to listening
When you want to talk,
To laughter,
To the kind and respectful sharing of differences of opinion,
To a more balanced Relationship:
Give
And receive
And then give again.

I let go of the child that left long ago,
Behold the woman before me,
And awestruck,
And bursting
With pride and gratitude,
Love and admiration,
I smile.

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