by Barton Sutter

The anxious agony of raising kids
Drains the life from parents, who must grow
From cradling to tug of war to slowly letting go
And learn to live with worry till they're dead.
When I fell in with you, I felt both joy and dread
Because you came with two small girls in tow.
I said, "I do." I'm glad I did, even though
I sometimes feel I married them instead.

It helps me to recall that gauzy, green meadow
Where we saw a tawny fawn duck under
The belly of its watchful, patient mother
And deliver two hard headbutts to the doe,
Doing what it took to get the milk to flow.


  1. Let me just say again how grateful I am to you for printing poetry!

  2. I don't even have kids and it works for me!

    But, of course, that worry part until one is dead is one reason why.

    Lovely poem.

  3. This reminds me of something I just read by Jon Kabat-Zinn about parenthood as mindfulness practice...of course, never having been a parent myself, and suspecting it'd drive me bonkers, I can't really say.

    This is actually my third attempt to visit your blog in the past few minutes. The first time, I got a message saying I was being denied access because my computer or network was suspected of sending automated queries, or something like that, which was weird...then I tried again and couldn't leave a comment...let's see what happens this time....Anyway, on that note, I could use your help, and bank account info to get some money out of an African country...long story...

  4. I saw my oldest daughter last night for a few minutes. She's opening a new business, forgetting to eat and take care of herself and so appears exhausted and has lost a LOT of weight. This morning I was awakened by a bad dream about her. I've been awake ever since. She'll be 28 this year, and I still worry about her as though she is 8 months old. Don't think I haven't texted her several times to remind her to eat today.

  5. I was just going to tell Owen that parenting seems like the opposite of mindfulness. Half the time they suck your brains straight on out of you, and the other half of the time, as Rudee points out, you're worrying about them when they are away from you. Like a puzzle and some of the pieces are missing and you can't quite be at ease. Wouldn't change it for anything, but what a journey.

  6. Geez but that's a fine poem and perfect photo!

    "From cradling to tug of war to slowly letting go" -- I don't believe I've ever seen parenting summed up so succinctly.

    Oh, and for the record, the teen years were by far my favorite. Yep, I'm crazy. Like a teen. Only older.

  7. I wonder if this is how my step father felt when he married my mom with two little girls. He did a great job with us while we were small, but really withdrew as we became teens.

  8. Ain't it the truth, ain't it the truth...


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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)

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