POST #207. HOW FAR BACK CAN YOU REMEMBER?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all remember the first few years of our lives? After all, these are the years – we are told – that form us, shape us into the people we become.

Now I have grandchildren I sometimes wonder how much they will remember of the happy times we have together. Nothing special. Just the everyday things. Sharing a story. Playing hide and seek. Cuddles. Bath time. Bed time.

I wrote this next poem when I was a new mother. Every parent has done this. Watched their child sleeping.

The same feeling still comes over me when I hold our fabulous new grandson who was born less than three weeks ago.

The years are swept away and I remember this poem I wrote a lifetime ago.

I watch my son asleep in bed.

What dreams can he be dreaming

the little sleepyhead?

I want to build a wall around his cot

Shield him from the world

Instead I tuck his blankets tight

And kiss my sleeping child goodnight.

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

A POEM FOR MOTHER’S DAY

 

First smile, first laugh, first sweet embrace

The tender way they touch your face

Every day is mother’s day

First sit, first crawl, first tooth, first walk

The joy when they begin to talk

Every day is mother’s day

The fun when they begin to play

The cries when they don’t get their way

Every day is mother’s day

The day they start to question why

And ask what happens when you die

Every day is mother’s day

The climbs, the falls, the hurts, the tears

As they learn to overcome their fears

Every day is mother’s day

The very first day you’re on your own

You take them to school, come home alone

Every day is mother’s day

The very first time they stay out late

And you remember your first date

Every day is mother’s day

And then one day you’re on your own

They’ve fled the nest, the kids have gone

Every day is mother’s day

The love, the joy, the guilt, the pain

The more you give, the more you gain.

You know you’d do it all again

Every day is mother’s day

 

BLOG POST 180 – MOTHER’S DAY

I first published this as a page five years ago. As it will soon be Mother’s Day in the UK I thought it worth posting again. 

I wrote this first poem ten years ago when I heard I was going to be a grandparent for the first time.  News that I would have loved to have been able to share with my mother.

Mother’s Day

On the train

No one is reading

Everyone is on the phone

Sending important messages

Telling friends and family

They are on the train.

In the houses we pass

People are getting up

And starting their day

Planning surprise lunches

Flowers and family celebrations

It is Mother’s Day

And I think of you

Just as I do on every other day.

I’m on my way

To meet your grandson

My firstborn

Now a married man

I wish you knew.

Outside the sun is shining

It’s the kind of day

That makes everyone smile.

I’m going to be a grandmother

I wish you knew.

I’m on the train

Travelling between

The life I have now

And my life to come.

Everyone else is still on the phone

And I’ve written this.

Happy mother’s day mum.

2011

Here’s a poem I wrote especially for Mother’s Day. I hope you like it.

Every Day is Mother’s Day

First smile, first laugh, first sweet embrace

The tender way they touch your face

Every day is mother’s day

First sit, first crawl, first tooth, first walk

The joy when they begin to talk

Every day is mother’s day

The fun when they begin to play

The cries when they don’t get their way

Every day is mother’s day

The day they start to question why

And ask what happens when you die

Every day is mother’s day

The climbs, the falls, the hurts, the tears

As they learn to overcome their fears

Every day is mother’s day

The very first day you’re on your own

You take them to school, come home alone

Every day is mother’s day

The very first time they stay out late

And you remember your first date

Every day is mother’s day

And then one day you’re on your own

They’ve fled the nest, the kids have gone

Every day is mother’s day

The love, the joy, the guilt, the pain

The more you give, the more you gain.

You know you’d do it all again

Every day is mother’s day

 © Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

Waiting

Waiting

We are all expectant!

Waiting for news of the latest Royal birth. Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge – went into labour today!

Here’s a  poem I have posted before. I wrote it in 2011 when our daughter was in labour and we were expecting our first grandchild.

Maybe this is how Kate Middleton’s mother is feeling right now …

Waiting

I have never waited like this before

Not for me

Pacing the floor

Instead I find small things to do

Mindless silly things

Anything to keep me from thinking

I walk round and round the garden

Round and round the house

The hours stretch out interminably

I wish I could somehow

Move things along

My thoughts say hurry hurry

I go to the florist

And buy a bouquet

The biggest, bluest, most beautiful bouquet

Now it will happen I think

Now I will get the call

The phone rings

It is my husband

He is also waiting

But while he waits

He has meetings, lunches

discussions, phone calls

He is not waiting

Like I am waiting

He is not thinking

as I am thinking

I am remembering

My first time

How time was telescoped

And what – for those waiting

Was so many hours

For me sped past so swiftly

So amazingly fast

I was surprised when

they said how long it had been

how long long long

I long to get that call

I long to know that all is well

And that my girl has had her boy

8 September 2011

worth waiting for

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

Mother and Child

You give birth and overnight your life changes. Now there’s someone else who’s always going  to come first with you.  For the rest of your life.  Even when your kids are grown up, barely a day goes by when you don’t think of them.

Here are some poems I’ve written about the parent/child relationship.

I wrote this first one after the birth of our daughter.

Hannah Sleeping                               

  I watch my child asleep in bed

What dreams can she be dreaming

The little sleepy head

I want to build a wall around her cot

Shield her from the world

Instead I tuck the blankets tight

And kiss my sleeping child goodnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When she got married in 2010, I wrote this:

I watch my child become a wife

What dreams will she be dreaming

For the rest of her sweet life

Their love will build a wall around their world

Around their lives

And as I take her hand in mine

I wish that I could rewind time.

I wrote this next poem in 1995, about six months before my mother died. 

 Role Reversal

Today, I held my mother

sobbing in my arms

Stroking her soft,  fine hair

Her chin nuzzled on my chest

And I could smell

the unforgotten fragrance

of her skin

I held her close

as I have held my children

and felt the frailty of her age

How odd and imperceptibly

the tables turn

And those that you have leaned on

lean on you

Those that you had turned to

turn to you

Now she is the child

And I am the mother

The 6 March was 22 years to the day that my mother died. It often coincides with Mother’s Day in the UK.

  

I visited the grounds at Hoop Lane crematorium – as I do every year – where her ashes were scattered.

You might think that this is a depressing thing to do. But, at this time of the year, it is uplifting. There are thousands of crocuses as far as the eye can see.

For the first time ever, I had a go at writing a haiku.  This is a three line Japanese poem.  It must have five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third, final line.

Remembrance

Scattered crocuses

Ashes scattered on the grass:

Scattered memories

 

© Andrea Neidle. My Life in Poems

Thoughts on Mother’s Day – 6 March 2016

Mother’s Day has come round again.

It is especially poignant for me this year as it falls upon the day that my own mother died – twenty years ago today.

How I wish I could tell her about all the good things that have happened in my life. Especially that – were she alive today – she would now have five great grandchildren.

The last of these, a baby girl, was born only two weeks ago. Our first granddaughter after four grandsons!

Welcome to the world – Lily Hetty Ross.

LILY BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I make no apologies for reposting this poem I wrote for Mother’s Day last year:

 

Every Day is Mother’s Day

First smile, first laugh, first sweet embrace

The tender way they touch your face

Every day is mother’s day

 

First sit, first crawl, first tooth, first walk

The joy when they begin to talk

Every day is mother’s day 

 

The fun when they begin to play

The cries when they don’t get their way

Every day is mother’s day

 

The day they start to question why

And ask what happens when you die

Every day is mother’s day 

 

The climbs, the falls, the hurts, the tears

As they learn to overcome their fears

Every day is mother’s day

 

The very first day you’re on your own

You take them to school, come home alone

Every day is mother’s day

The very first time they stay out late

And you remember your first date

Every day is mother’s day

 

And then one day you’re on your own

They’ve fled the nest, the kids have gone

Every day is mother’s day

 

The love, the joy, the guilt, the pain

The more you give, the more you gain.

You know you’d do it all again

Every day is mother’s day.

20160103_180949 for blog

© Andrea Neidle

My Life in Poems