Each year as Mother’s Day approaches I’m reminded of this poem that always brings me to tears. As my children have long since left home, it hits harder with each passing year. Love you little ones while you can and cherish these years before they’re long gone only to fade into memories of the past.
“Wet Oatmeal Kisses……”
The baby is teething. The children are fighting.
Your husband just called and said,
“Eat dinner without me.”
One of these days you’ll explode and shout to the kids,
“Why don’t you grow up and act your age?”
……And they will.
OR: “You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do.
And don’t slam the door!”……
And they don’t.
You’ll straighten their bedrooms all neat and tidy;
toys displayed on the shelf, hangers in the closet, animals caged.
You’ll yell, “Now I want it to stay this way!”
…….And it will.
You will prepare a perfect dinner with a cake
with no finger traces in the icing and you’ll say:
“Now THIS is a meal for company.”
……And you’ll eat it alone.
No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.
No more dandelion bouquets.
No more wet, knotted shoelaces or rubber bands for ponytails.
Imagine. A lipstick with a point. No babysitter for New Year’s Eve,
washing clothes only once a week,
no PTA meetings or silly school plays.
No carpools, blaring stereos or forgotten lunch money.
No more Christmas presents made of library paste and toothpicks.
No more wet oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy. No more giggles in the dark,
scraped knees to kiss or sticky fingers to clean.
Only a voice asking: “Why don’t you grow up?”
And the silence echoes: “I did.”