Babies Don’t Keep – 5 Years On

There’s a sweet little verse around which reassures new mothers that it’s OK to abandon the housework for a while when you just want to cuddle your baby. I might have taken this too literally in abandoning the housework altogether for five years, but it did  make me think of what sequel might be needed later on in a child’s life. Here goes…

I hope my child looks back on today

And remembers a mum who had time to play,

A lovable sort with a hug and a grin,

Who waved at the school gate to see her go in.

I hope she remembers the positive things,

Not the myriad stresses that every day brings.

The makeup abandoned, the hair streaked with grey

Cause the dye has gone missing or been thrown away

The times when instructions turned into a shout:

“For the umpteenth time, SHOES ON! We have to go out!”

The times I’d forgotten the pound coin for school

Since I’d spent it on parking last night at the pool

The days with school socks grabbed still damp from the line

“They’re dry, they’re just – chilly. Of course you’ll be fine!”

I hope her rushed teas were a small price to pay

For having a mum that joined in with ballet

(For as long as I could stand, anyway)

I hope she sees warmth and not unending mess

I hope she knows why I insist she gets dressed

And I hope at the end of the day she might see

There’s one valuable lesson she might learn from me –

We might want to be perfect, whoever we are,

But it’s fine to be human, too – just like her ma.

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