Today’s Poetry Type:
Unique (free verse)
Our Uniqueness a Gift
Four people all living in one small house
Strong willed and distinctly inimitable
Each one of us unique and individual.
It might seem like a recipe for disaster
Four people, one small house
No rules, no chores, no punishments –
How peaceful can our lives be?
My teenaged son is bigger than me
And a daughter in the midst of puberty?
When there’s no control that we enforce
No parental limits arbitrarily imposed
The teenaged rebellion must be rampant –
Rebellion needs something to push against
Some limit too tight to be borne or accepted
The concrete cracks as the seedling’s growth surges.
Instead, each of us is free to be as we are
Safe and embraced in all our originality
Our uniqueness a gift that creates a happy family.
When I was growing up, my parents espoused my being myself… so long as who I was pleased them. For instance, if my writing, or my conversational skills, impressed other adults, they were laudable. I was encouraged to share. But when my writing consumed me when I “should” be playing outside or doing homework, or when I wanted to talk when they didn’t want to hear me, it was a different matter.
The impression I often got was that it was OK to be me, so long as “me” was convenient and conformed to their expectations.
Here, it’s a different life. Sometimes who our children are isn’t exactly what we might wish. Sometimes, when they were smaller, who they were meant that I didn’t go somewhere I wanted to, because they didn’t. Sometimes it means that I let my daughter paint my nails, not because I want them painted, but because she loves to paint them. Sometimes it means I don’t see my son for a day, because he needs solitude.
Sometimes, like this weekend, it means I drive hundreds of miles, because they need to spend time with friends who live in other states.
It sounds one-sided, but it’s not. My kids accept my passions for Star Trek, writing, and Hamilton. They respect that while they and I tend to be nocturnal, their father keeps a more conventional schedule, and, as they get older, they need less reminding to keep nighttime noise down. They offer small kindnesses, and consider others’ needs, personal preferences, and quirks.
In accepting our children as they are, we’ve given them the tools to accept others as they are, too.