When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking
When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked…
and wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.
The Handwriting On The Wall
A weary mother returned from the store,
Lugging groceries through the kitchen door.
Awaiting her arrival was her eight-year-old son,
Eager to relate what his younger brother had done.
“While I was out playing and Dad was on a call,
T.J. took his crayons and wrote on the wall!
It’s on the new paper you just hung in the den.
I told him you’d be mad at having to do it again.”
She let out a moan and furrowed her brow.
“Where is your little brother right now?”
She emptied her arms and with a purposeful stride,
She marched to his closet where he had gone to hide.
She called his full name as she entered his room.
He trembled with fear — he knew that meant doom!
About the expensive wallpaper and how she had saved.
Stressed over all the work it would take to repair,
She condemned his actions and total lack of care.
The more she scolded, the madder she got,
Then stomped from his room, totally distraught!
She headed for the den to confirm her fears.
When she saw the wall, her eyes flooded with tears.
The message she read pierced her soul with a dart.
It said, “I love Mommy,” surrounded by a heart.
Well, the wallpaper remained, just as she found it,
With an empty picture frame hung to surround it.
A reminder to her, and indeed to all,
Take time to read the handwriting on the wall!!!
A Mother’s Letter To The World
My son starts school today. It’s going to be strange
and new to him for a while.
And I wish you would sort of treat him gently.
You see, up to now, he’s been king of the roost.
He’s been boss of the backyard.
I have always been around to repair his wounds,
and to soothe his feelings.
But now-things are going to be different.
This morning, he’s going to walk down the front steps,
wave his hand and start on his great adventure
that will probably include wars and tragedy and sorrow.
To live his life in the world he has to live in will require
faith and love and courage.
So, World, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand
and teach him the things he will have to know. Teach him-but gently, if you can.
Teach him that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every crooked politician there is a dedicated leader;
that for every enemy there is a friend.
Teach him the wonders of books.
Give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hill.
Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas,
even if everyone else tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder,
but never to put a price on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob…
and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.
Teach him gently, World, but don’t coddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
This is a big order, World, but see what you can do.
He’s such a nice little fellow.
For All Mothers
This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at soccer games instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, “Did you see my goal?” They could say, “Of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick children in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Meyer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, “It’s OK honey, Mommy’s here.”
This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who fled in the night and can’t find their children. This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they’ll never see and for the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes and for all the mothers who don’t.
What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that takes you from sleeping to dread, from bed to crib at 2 a.m. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
Is it the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?
I think so.
This is for reading “Goodnight, Moon” twice a night for a year. And then reading it again, “Just one more time”.
This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired two year old who wants ice cream before dinner.
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started to school and for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
For all the mothers who bite their lips (sometimes until they bleed) when their 14 year olds dyed their hair green.
This is for all the mothers who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won’t stop.
This is for all mothers who show at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
This is for mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls “Mom?” in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home or are grown.
This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children’s graves.
This is for all the mothers whose children have gone astray and who can’t find words to reach them.
This is for all the mothers who sent their child to school with a stomach ache, assuring that they would be just FINE once they got there, only to get a call from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up right away.
This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go.
For working moms and stay-at-home moms. Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money and mothers without.
This is for you, so hang in there. The world would be a terrible place without the love of mothers everywhere. You make it a more civil, caring and safe place for the precious children in our world.
As I Look Back
As I look back on my life
I find myself wondering…..
Did I remember to thank you
for all that you have done for me?
For all of the times you were by my side
to help me celebrate my successes
and accept my defeats?
Or for teaching me the value of hard work,
good judgement, courage, and honesty?
I wonder if I’ve ever thanked you for the simple things…
The laughter, smiles, and quiet times we’ve shared?
If I have forgotten to express my gratitude
For any of these things,
I am thanking you now….
and I am hoping that you’ve known all along,
how very much you are loved and appreciated.