A Parenting Poem

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Before
Cara Turner, mother of three

Before she grows up and out,
I want her to know
How utterly perfect and loved she is
Not for making the honor roll, or
the winning goal, or
the blue ribbon science fair project,
But because she was wanted and wished for
With such ferocity that
News of other babies—
Babies not from me or for me—
Stabbed me
In my once stagnate womb.

And,
Before he loses his front two teeth,
And grows those oddly overgrown incisors
I want him to know that his smile melts my soul,
Like the wax on a cheap candle burns too quickly in the wind.
His wade-in deep dimples
Frames his pale cherry lips, while
His chipped front tooth screams,
“I am 100% kid—perfectly imperfect, and
You love me despite all my faults.”
Indeed.

And,
Before my baby girl is whisked away on her first date,
Caught up in the tornado of teenage pathos
I want her to know,
She is made in God’s image—
Both feminine and masculine,
And she has to change for no one
Because as child of God, she is amazing, one of a kind:
Busy and frenetic flitting from one flower to the next
Spreading joy and hope and kindness.
And, she herself is a gift to be treasured.