Posts Tagged ‘kindergarten’

Thank you for the pep talk.
When your teacher asked you
to record messages in the phone,
you could not have known
one day your innocent words
would reach this woman in Colorado
and I would sit in my car
and stare at a mountain and press 4
to listen to children laughing
and press 3 to hear a room full of kindergarteners
shouting YOU CAN DO IT,
and it would make me weep.
I imagine you do not yet understand
how something so beautiful
could make a person sob—
a complex, but very real emotion
we don’t have a word for in English.
But perhaps you are already learning
of the ripple effect: How kindness
brings hope. How hope opens us.
How being open can make people cry.
My friend Paula explained it to me this way.
That’s what friends do—
they share the truth with you.
Oh, young friends I have never met,
I thank you for the ripple,
for the way it has recharged in me a tide
so deep that currents leak out.
Thank you for restoring the great inner ocean
that sometimes turns desert, goes dry.
Thank you for reminding me,
pwease, do something you wike,
something that inspiwes you.
I remember now. Oh bless these salty tears.
I remember.


If you, too, could use a pep talk, or even if you don’t need one, call anyway: 707-873-7862

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My son is wearing a black cardboard hat
with a golden tassel for kindergarten graduation.
He still has all his baby teeth, and his grin
is full of gaps and pride. He’s carrying
a yellow dandelion as if it’s a prize.
I love you, I say to the boy in the picture.
I love you, I say to the boy in my heart.

There are some who live their whole lives
without ever knowing they are loved.
Staring at his photo, I take comfort
in knowing he knew. Though his life was short,
though the world was too much,
here’s a picture of a boy
who knew he was loved.

Later that day, we went to the fair
and I followed him through fun house mirrors.
We slid on gray carpets down carnival slides
and he threw darts to hit balloons.
Later that night, I would have tucked him into bed,
sung him his song, kissed his head
and told him I was glad to be his mom.

I am still glad, eleven years later,
to be his mom. Knowing all that I know
about how he will grow and how he will hurt
and how he will go, I’ve never loved him more.
I open like a dandelion as I stare
at the photo of the ripening boy,
this boy I’m still getting to know.

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