I wrote this poem six years ago. More of a journal than a poem, it was remembering a time when my daughter was quite young, and someone asked me what I did all day. At first, I couldn't answer them, because being a mom isn't a defined job description with rules and timelines; it's a chaotic juggle of unexpected moments where there is lots of wonderful advice, but no right answer, often just reactions and a determination to get things done.
So, at the end of a particularly long day, I decided to write about it, and that's where this poem came from. I know that many of you have read it before but it is still very close to my heart, and I wanted to share it with you again.
Now, my daughter is almost out of her teens, and I can say that being a mother is still a crazy and wonderful experience, which I wouldn't trade for all the butter pecan ice cream in the world. It has taught me to love and appreciate the quiet, beautiful moments, to laugh as often as possible, and to always let people, especially our children, be exactly who they are, not who we feel they should be.
Wishing you all lots of love and a very Happy Mother's Day.
If you give a Mom a minute,
she'll want a cup of tea and a magazine.
Reaches for her favorite mug,
but starts to unload the dishwasher instead.
While putting away the dishes,
she rearranges the cupboards.
Decides to put some dishes aside for a garage sale.
Calls her friend for advice,
but forgets to ask about garage sales.
Goes to the toilet, and notices the shower is dirty.
Sprays and scrubs the shower stall,
while she reorganizes the body scrubs and shampoos.
Throws away expired medicines,
and cleans the bathroom cabinet.
This reminds her to call the Doctor for a check up.
On the way downstairs to get the telephone number,
she notices the floor needs vacuuming.
Gets the vacuum cleaner,
and sees all of her handbags hanging on the hooks.
Distracted, she starts to look inside them.
Throws out a a pile of old lists,
seventeen hair ties and a melted lollipop.
A dirty cigarette packet,
but knows she doesn't smoke.
Puzzled, and embarrassed,
she remembers picking it up off the lawn months ago.
Thoughts of smoky handbags remind her to do the laundry,
and she forgets to call the Doctor.
As the laundry spins,
she begins to tidy the cellar.
Makes another pile of things for the garage sale,
wondering why on earth she wanted to do one in the first place.
The laundry done, she hears a drip,
but decides to ignore it.
Folds the laundry, opens the mail,
and fills the tea kettle with water.
As she waits for it to boil,
she absentmindedly wonders why the water is still running.
Perhaps the washing machine has turned back on,
or maybe it is starting to rain.
She hears more noises in the cellar.
The cat is crying, and the phone is starting to ring.
So she just stops listening.
Her child is sick, at school,
and must be picked up immediately,
if not sooner.
Before she hangs up,
she is sweetly reminded that tomorrow she has to bring seven dozen sunflower yellow, frosted cupcakes to school.
473 dark blue napkins, 8 dozen bottles of water and 84 handwritten name tags.
In black ink, not blue or red.
Tomorrow. By 7:30am.
It's Children Appreciation Day.
Oh, and don't forget -
no gluten, no sugar, no peanuts, no dairy, no food coloring, and absolutely no mushrooms.
She drives to the school,
brings her child home, and puts her to bed.
With a bucket.
Which reminds her of water, and the crying cat.
Marooned on a shelf,
she finds him calmly watching as the water laps slowly, almost poetically, against the side of her new washing machine.
With the cat rescued and her daughter asleep, she turns off the water and fixes the burst pipe herself.
The Plumber can wait.
She fills the tea kettle with water,
finds her favorite cup,
drops the teabag in,
grabs a magazine,
smiles to herself
.....and finally takes that minute.
Written by Wendy E. Wrzos (Copyright 2012). The photograph is of my daughter, after she had baked her first batch of Butterfly Cakes, and the poem was inspired by Laura Numeroff's wonderful books for children.