January 20, 2009

A Poem

Homely Thoughts on the Transcendence of the Present Moment

I celebrate the chaos.
The toys underfoot.
The pile of coats forever occupying a chair.
Sand, fish crackers, and play food scattered on the carpet, newly vacuumed.
The doll that has been sleeping under the couch since the last harvest moon.

I celebrate morning walks with blankets and hats,
The little voice saying, "Mommy, LOOK!"
Re-reading the same story
And over
And over

I celebrate rotten diapers by the back door,
His chubby hand rubbing his chest, "Please."
My baby going headfirst and giggling down the slide.
My envy of those who can go to the bathroom whenever they want.
The already-opened box of Teddy Grahams at the grocery store check-out.

I celebrate my shoes, my combs, my lip balm, my underwear,
Stolen, stashed, dropped, forgotten
In the toy box, or the den, or the laundry room.
Hiding the remote from the children and then forgetting where it's hidden.
Cracker crumbs and backwash in my cup.
Listening to the same music over
And over
And over
And getting one of those infernal tunes stuck in my head,
Spinning around like a tipsy yo-yo
Until I want to scream,
And then sharing my joy and my pain with Daddy--so he can sing it, too--
Hey, misery loves company.

I celebrate the jobs never finished
The half-done chores
The undone-but-truly-thought-about tasks
And the duties I completely forgot
Lost in the toddler pace, the baby pace, the little person pace of the day.

I celebrate a little hand lying against my chest,
A tiny hand resting upon my breast,
And the even rise and fall of breath--
The life of my child.
But also, the moment before--
The cry that wakes me into the night,
The darkened room,
The half-lit moon,
The weariness of my body and mind,
The knowledge deeper than bones
That I will go.
Because my heart, resigned, is stronger.
A gift from God to mothers.


  1. Oh Jenn! I love it! You say it all....the frustrations are in there but always with the tone that we wouldn't change it...because that would change everything. You are a great writer, a great mother! Thanks for the reminder....to celebrate it!!! love ya!

  2. Wow!! I love this poem!! It's so well said!! Thank you for the reminder that a dirty house is so worth all the giggles and smiles that I get to enjoy everyday. Blessings to you dear friend.