Despite the long nights, this sweet window is small
when a child is so little, so new to it all.
When the eyes become wide with each shiny bright thing,
and then heavy in sleep as a mom or dad sings
soothing songs somehow saved for these few precious years,
soothing songs that can magically dry up big tears.
Without doubt, parenthood can be hard when they’re little.
The repetitive schedule, the up-in-the-middle-
of-the-night every night for too many to tally.
The courage. The coffee. The surrender. The rally.
But just stop in the moment. Take permission to see
that this small little being you’ve helped come to be
is a wonder – a wonder! – from hairline to toes,
with a story and purpose that no one yet knows.
And your singing and rocking and soothing and such
is exactly what’s needed to make very much
of the gifts and the loves that are tucked deep inside.
Oh please let them be little, expectations aside.
For soon they’ll be toddlers, and then children small.
And with that comes temptation to compare them to all
other toddlers and children… how they measure up.
Oh please – no! – do not sip of that bitterest of cup.
For there is no comparison. Each child is one
in a million, a trillion – as unique as they come.
No, what each child needs more than most anything else
is to let them be little, to let them find self.
So please, take permission to throw out the shoulds
and the coulds and the if-only-he-or-she-woulds.
And replace them with stories and outings and baking
and talking and dreaming and digging and raking
and devoting yourself to see into this child…
what was she thinking the last time she smiled?
Please, take permission to never compare
but instead to seek out what is precious and rare
in the heart and the mind and the soul you so treasure.
Invest in his gifts – they are prized beyond measure.
Please, take permission to slow down what’s fast
if it’s draining your home of the good things that last.
Build in time just to read and to dream and to play.
It’s the work of a child; there is no better way
to uncover the stories they carry inside.
Give them quiet and boredom… these open dreams wide.
Oh, and one final thing I feel led to confide:
These babies, these toddlers, these children of yours
are opening within you a great many new doors
to your own unique story. Profound and so true.
Please let them be little… and let you be you.
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