What kind of courage is it that releases a child to be precisely who she is? What sort of selflessness must be mustered to discover the sometimes unconscious desire to press her into your image, which begins only as a bright hope that a part of your heart will be reborn in her?
My Mom had me, who at a very early age had strong opinions on what I wore – no pink, no frills, no dresses if I could manage it, except on Sunday (which was required, no arguments allowed). Mom and I still, truth be told, differ on what looks good on me, although I will admit that anything purchased or approved by my mom, always receives numerous compliments.
I had Emma. I was going to allow her to choose what she wanted and I was certain she, free to choose, would choose earth toned, comfortable clothes meant for moving and freedom, nothing fussy. Yet at a very early age, she began to express her very strong opinions (you can see which gene she got from me)– pink and purple being base colors for her palette — princesses used as role models (and which one she got from her Grandma). I have tried to at least be as begrudgingly gracious as my own loving mother was to me and let her express herself.
So as we’ve ventured into stores this summer, looking at this and that where does Emma stop and linger? At the blingy bangles…
Strung beads hang suspended like falling water stopped,
stops you. Delight flows out through your fingers, rippling the rivers of fancy.
(Jangle-ly bangle-ly bling,
is uniquely Sweets, your thing.)
The Summer in Sentences so far
I took your picture; you took mine. Then a turtle – Summer! – the first day!
(No need to mention Walmart.
Nobody thinks that’s much fun.)
Toys R Us: museum of the mature, fun house of the child at heart.
Dad, curious about what he was missing, followed us like pond ducks.
Canada Day: too hustling-bustling. We reversed momentum.
No! I won’t go! she said, using her body punctuation – two stomps.
(So you don’t have to wonder
where we are on harder days )
Before it gets hot, let’s find our spot – walk, and hope for dogs on leashes
Cool happens in sunglasses; brother lets sister bask in his brightness.
Even Big Screen projection can’t imagine the possibilities!
Since the theatre worked, we tried church and slipped out before the preaching.
(All that moss is falling off
Our rocks have started rollin‘)
As Emma stirred the holy waters, plainsong stilled our harried hearts.
We poem-ed in the woods, where leaves fall speechlessly too, random but voiced.
© 2017 – Laurel Archer
Summer Sentences is a writing project using Allen Ginsberg’s American Sentences Poetic form — one line of poetry containing 17 syllables, an adaptation of the Haiku. The project is an expression of our mother-daughter outings through the summer. It may not show it (now or ever) and we may not be brave enough to display our failed outings, but all this takes some courage for both of us. The goal is to be out of the house, hanging out together and enjoying some places in and around our home.