Poetry Friday/Slice of Life Challenge #8: Of daughters and hugs and being quick

Poetry Friday is hosted by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

The March Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers

     On Friday, I blogged about my youngest daughter turning 18.  Like all parents of teenagers, I sometimes feel as though I want to pause the video and rewind – return to moments from long ago that I may have been too busy, too harried with this or that responsibility to have savored properly.
     Sometimes I catch myself watching Olivia doing the most mundane tasks and think them extraordinary…when did she learn to park the car so expertly? to organize her suitcase so efficiently? to whip up a “Venti two-pump no-whip Gingerbread Latte” at work at the same time as a “Caramel Macchiato With Vanilla Bean” – smiling and chatting up a storm all the while? to fold her t-shirts so they never show a crease?
     Sometimes I wish I could slow down her todays so that we can enjoy them more fully.  She seems always on the go: school, and work, and play rehearsals, the gym and choir/ a Capella rehearsals…and this or that plan with friends.  Every once in a while, she pauses for a few moments to chat – to bring me up to date with something she  learned, heard, felt, believes in.  Then, our time is up and she moves on.  
     Sometimes, I find myself saying, “Wait…can I have a hug before you go?” And she pauses to smile, throw her arms around me….”There you go, Mom!…Love you!”  …. and then she’s out the door.  Paul Janeczko’s poem is just as much about 18 year olds as it is about them when they are three:


How to Hug Your Three-Year-Old Daughter


                                (for Emma)

 

Be prepared

to be quick.

 

The hug may come

when you expect it least:

you’re carrying a cup of hot coffee

   answering her call sleepy eyed

            lifting bread from the oven.

 

The hug may come 

around your knees

before she darts off

or from behind

as you stoop

to fish the remote

from beneath the couch.

 

Don’t be afraid

to ask for one.

Get down on your knees.

Spread your arms

to improve her aim.

Close your eyes.

Let her eager abruptness

startle you.

Grin.

Remember:

tomorrow is prompt.

 

Be prepared

to be quick.

Paul Janeczko

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25 thoughts on “Poetry Friday/Slice of Life Challenge #8: Of daughters and hugs and being quick

  1. My 28-year old son just left tonight after being here for a quick 3 days of his spring break. I tried to store up a ton of hugs to last me until May when I'll be headed to his law school graduation. I'm never afraid to ask and he gives the best hugs!

  2. Tara, this is so beautiful, brings tears. My son and family are coming in this weekend & I'm so excited, like Ramona, will store up some hugs to last me. And your intro was lovely too, like your daughter. The years do fly!

  3. This poem and your description of your daughter are lovely reminders that even though we SOMETIMES think they might never grow up, they will and they do, but they are just as special as when they were wee little ones.

  4. I love the poem you added to your wonderful piece and the photo. All three pieces work to create something wonderful…digital writing is so amazing, don't you think?Bonnie

  5. And you blink…and they are 30 with as sweet baby that kisses. I'm glad you have a hugger. I loved the drink titles…my son worked making coffee too. xo

  6. They grow and change so fast. I understand the stop, watch, and wonder about this fabulous person you know so well. Hugs are the best, wonderful poem.

  7. Such a beautiful girl! My own daughter just turned 21 and we're winding up a wonderful spring break week. My youngest, a son, turns 18 in two weeks. So, yes, your post makes me teary today – but in a good way. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Your piece and the poem went together so nicely. I guess if we always stopped to savor every moment, we wouldn't get anything done and perhaps the moments wouldn't be as special. I seriously doubt it though…

  9. Hugs all around! Thank you for reminding us to savor those moments with our babies – even when they turn 18! Gonna hug both my girls today – quick before they grow up faster than they already are! =)

  10. Oh my yes. That line "tomorrow is prompt" hits the nail on the head. Your description of your happy busy daughter flying from one thing to the next is vivd and rings true. I drive my teen daughter 30 minutes to school each morning and I am so grateful for that time!

  11. Your daughter is lovely! Our children grow up much too fast. I can't believe my sons are 36 and 34! I sometimes miss their childhood, but I also cherish the amazing men they have become. They are still my best friends.

  12. This brought a tear to my eye. Where does the time go? Our youngest daughter will be 18 in May, and I keep asking myself these same questions. Some of my favorite lines: "Like all parents of teenagers, I sometimes feel as though I want to pause the video and rewind – return to moments from long ago that I may have been too busy, too harried with this or that responsibility to have savored properly."'Sometimes I wish I could slow down her todays so that we can enjoy them more fully.'"And she pauses to smile, throw her arms around me…."There you go, Mom!…Love you!" …. and then she's out the door."Lovely.Cathy

  13. Oh Tara, you have a beautiful daughter. Such radiance in her face and light in her eyes – must have taken after her mother a great deal! This poem brought tears to my eyes as I also recall my own daughter and the way that she seems to be always on the go – quick to hug and leave. 🙂 And she's only eleven! Lots of time to enjoy her still. 🙂

  14. Oh course this post made me cry–thinking of my own Mom and my son and how fast this wonderful life goes. My son is turning twelve and I've seen 18 on the horizon. I love how you describe the extraordinary mundane. Your daughter looks like joy walking in the picture you shared. So many wonderful things ahead for the two of you!

  15. I see I'm not alone in crying at this one. I am so loving having a teenager. Such a gift to still be getting these hugs, just like when she was three!

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