My Temper Tantrum

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Okay, I know all the blah blah blah. I know it’s healthy for children to grow up and find their own rhythm and pull away from their parents a little and yadda yadda yadda.

I know the reason my daughter feels so comfortable finding her way and asking for space is because I have loved her deeply and thoroughly, and I know that giving her a solid ground is why she is able to fly.

Beautiful… usually.

But once in a while, I just want to throw a big ol’ temper tantrum and say it like it is: I feel sad watching my kids grow up!!! I want to totally and completely smother them! I miss my babies!

I love them now and it *of course* is an honor to me to watch them grow… I’m so glad they are here and I get the honor of watching them transform to young adults. I never take that for granted, or at least I try not to. But sometimes… like a few nights ago… I just wanted to throw a big old hissy fit and not look on the bright side.

I went to bed sad that my daughter was getting older — I know, I know, 9 1/2 isn’t exactly *older* — sheesh! All I’m saying is that I loved holding her as a baby… and was wishing for a few moments of that part back. I couldn’t sleep, so I finally got up and barfed this poem out all over the page.

And I’m using the word “poem” here loosely, because it is more like a bunch of random thoughts spilling out in a very unclear way.

You might already know that I like writing poems, I’ve shared some of my older poems here, here and here. But this one is… not really a poem as much as a written temper tantrum.

If you’ll humor me, I want to share it with you here. I need to get it off my chest. I’m hoping there is some other mama out there somewhere who can find just a little bit of the truth in this poem, and can validate that I will survive watching my children grow up and need me less and less. Anyone? xoxo


You want me to show I love you through restraint.

Instead of full bear hugs you want a quick kiss on the top of the head

Instead of swinging you around and around you want to walk alongside

Instead of faces covered in smooches you want to chat about the day.


I feel for what you are going through,

I remember vividly how hard those preteen years can be…

the soul searching and not-quite-fitting-in

and not being exactly who you were yesterday

and growing growing growing

and needing love and needing space

and those wobbly hormones.


But I never dreamed how much harder it would be to mother a preteen…

the soul searching and not-quite-knowing-what-to-say

and not having exactly the same daughter I had yesterday

and loving loving loving

and needing love and hating space

and my wobbly hormones pressing me to connect with you when all you want is

more privacy then ever before.




I love you so much I would do literally anything for you,


not cut up your food for you because I know that would annoy you

not drink from the same cup because I know that now bothers you

not take a picture of you because you asked me not to

not sleep together because I know that would irritate you

not ask that extra question because I know that would be pushing it

not grab you for a love quenching soul soaking hug because I know you’ll simply

endure it.


Yes I love you that much and yes I’ll do anything for you

but damn.

Still damn.


Humor me here and let me tell you time and time again:

you are the most lovable girl on the entire planet

the one who took my world by storm

knocked me out cold by love


wind knocked out of me I was so blown away.

carrying you

rocking you

holding you

singing to you

nursing you

walking with you for miles everyday, not in a stroller but in my arms

and sleeping with you, not in a crib but in my arms


and talking to you and taking baths with you and cooking with you on my hip

endlessly moving through each day with you


bending in to smell your baby smell every five seconds

never more then a heartbeat away

never out of arms reach

fire burning soul consuming passion pounding through me.


You are my sweet sweet love.


Here is what I want to do:

scoop you back up like I did when you were little,

carry you in my arms and off we go about our day


take you to a park and swing with you on my lap again,

wind in our hair, singing the entire time


give you a bath and wrap you up in a towel when you are done

and hold you every single minute of your afternoon nap


feed you your dinner scoop by scoop by scoop


sleep with you passed out right next to me,

a sweaty little ball of fuzzy dark brown baby hair and padded little bottom in a diaper,

me listening to each breath, so dizzy with love I watch the moon

cross the entire night sky and never drift away for a moment.


Thank God I did those things, but how to let them go now, how to let them go…


You want me to love you now with restraint?