Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just Walking

I am a tightrope walker,
not the sort of activity
I had in mind
when I signed up
for motherhood.

No experience. Never enough education.
Two degrees later,
and still like a freshman in class
with the toughest teacher
everyone else avoids.

A walk sounds easy enough, so
I climb the ladder each morning
as soon as he wakes.
Exhausted, I climb down each night.
repeatedly in the hours between.

Why can’t he write on his castle?
wipe his peanut-buttery hands on the carpet?
drink from the flower pot or kitchen sponge?
lap up his supper like a dog?
bounce on my bed?

I must train up a child in the Lord.
Too harsh. Too lenient.
Obedience & respect. Creativity & individuality.
It’s so hard to keep a balance.

What if I never master this walk?
break his will?
push him away?
make him love me less?
instead of teach him to bend,
to conform,
to simply obey?

My sure steps turn into hesitant missteps as
he pushes and I pull.
We walk confidently until
I try to steer his defiant heart
As he wounds mine:
“I want daddy!”

I’ll climb the ladder again

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