Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Perplexed

She sat by the mouse trap and softly cried,
Because a little grey mouse had died.

“He’s such a tiny Little Mouse Grey,
He couldn’t harm us in any way.
He wanted to live as much as I.
And now you’ve left this little mouse die!
One time our kitty hurt a mouse,
And I found him near the house,
And I held him carefully
In my hand, and he liked me.
I petted him and we talked a bit,
Then I said goodbye to it.
He was my friend when he ran away,
I know he’ll come back to see my some day!”

As I saw her there with tears in her eyes,
And the faith that only childhood knows,
It saddened me to think of what
One loses as one older grows.

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

If Only

If only youth had the wisdom,
It could save so many mistakes,
It could wisely choose the right roads,
And detour the many heartaches.

It seems a shame that wisdom
Comes with time and age.
Oh, I know the book of life
Is written page by page.

But youth is so impatient,
And writing a book is slow,
And it’s such a shame we’re older
Before we know…we know!

~Dana B. Nelson

Poems My Grandmother Taught Me

Much Nicer

A baby’s such a wee thing,
He can’t even talk,
You have to carry him,
He can’t even walk!
I suppose all babies
Can hardly wait to grow,
So they can tell you things,
Like where they want to go.
I guess it’s nice to be
All cuddly, soft, and pink,
But being big as I am
Is really nicer, I think!

~Dana B. Nelson

As Tough As It Is

One of the toughest periods of parenting for Mom and Dad is the teenage years.

We find ourselves at the end of legal responsibilities. We have a child ready to embark into that final moment of true independence. We say to ourselves that they cannot possibly be ready. We want to help. We want to remain in control. Parenting is a job we find we are unwilling to relinquish yet.

Someone once told me a story of two cocoons. Both contained butterflies ready to emerge. One was gently cut from its constraints. The other had to struggle until it was free. But, this one, the one which fought was the one that could fly. The other could not.

The greatest lessons we learn in life aren’t the ones we are taught by our parents. They are the ones we discover on our own.

Parenting: The Greatest Lessons

My youngest daughter called me one day to let me know she had been suspended from school. Her mother and I were separated at the time and I could hear my ex-wife in the background screaming. My daughter was a senior in high school. She wasn’t a child. She was a young woman and was demanding she be treated as such. Punishing her, in my mind, wasn’t going to accomplish much. This was the conversation we calmly had:

Me: So what happened?
Her: I got caught skipping school.
Me: Let me ask you a couple of questions. You tried smoking. What happened?
Her: I got caught.
Me: You tried drinking. What happened?
Her: I got caught.
Me: You tried smoking pot. What happened?
Her: I got caught.
Me: You tried skipping school. What happened?
Her: I got caught.
Me: Do you not see a pattern here?
Her:(Giggling) Yep.
Me: You have four months until graduation. Can’t you hunker down and get it done?
Her: I can.
Me: Then do it.
Her: Okay.

And that was the end of it. She graduated. That chapter closed and we moved on to the next challenge. Yes, there have been other bumps in the road along the way. But, she’s getting it together now more than ever.

The vast majority of parenting is done by the seat of our britches. We seldom know ahead of time what our children will do, what they will say, how they will react. Since there isn’t a training manual handed out at the time of their birth, there are few reference materials with a corresponding chapter to flip to and find the answers.

I tell my children and anyone who has children to keep in mind that they are the experts on their children. They know them better than anyone else. Although it is wise to consider the counsel of others, it is best to go with your gut, your heart, in decision making regarding your kids.

The greatest lessons we learn in life aren’t the ones our parents teach us. They’re the ones we learn on our own. We are only here to prepare them for whatever lies ahead, providing a moral compass for their own Journey. Letting them go and letting them grow is difficult, but, it is what we are required to do.

Parenting Isn’t For Wimps

My daughter sent me a text this morning letting me know that our granddaughter is finished breastfeeding. Our granddaughter is taking the world on by storm playing with her toys and acting like it is no big deal. Meanwhile, my daughter is in tears.

It reminded me of my ex-wife’s similar experience with the oldest daughter who also weaned herself. My ex came to me and through sobbing and many tears said, “She doesn’t need me anymore!” Of course nearly thirty-five years later, this statement has proven false. They’re tighter than a woven cord. It just took time.

From the moment our children are born, we begin a course of teaching and training them to be independent. It’s a sliding scale from their being the most vulnerable and dependent they will ever be to becoming, if we’re lucky, productive and independent contributors to society. Along the way is the toughest job we will ever undertake, ever be challenged with, and ever face. Parenting isn’t for wimps.

But again, if we’re lucky, it will also be the most rewarding thing we ever do. Granted it takes over eighteen years to complete the course and hopefully graduate into their being on their own. But as my daughter has discovered today, there are moments, like the one she just went through, when you want them to stay little a tiny bit longer.