Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Mama's Manifesto

A Promise for the Small

I will make your pancakes into shapes
I will read you the good books. As many times as you ask me to.
I will teach you to see that the world is a beautiful place, and the value of wonder, and of being undone.
I will teach you the difference between what is important, and what is merely urgent.
When things get bad, we’ll put on something happy and dance around the living room.
I won’t let you give less than your best.
I won’t tell you to ‘leave that rock alone and hurry up!’ when we’re in a hurry. If we’re 4 minutes late to school, so be it.
I will teach you to forgive, quickly and completely.
I will buy you microscopes and oil pastels and charts of the stars. Sorry about the Barbies and all the hand-held games, but no.
I won’t let you grow up believing you’re the center of the universe.
I will teach you how to learn, and how to want to learn.
I will help you to find ways to be kind, to be useful, and to be attentive to the fragile, fleeting moments of these our days. 
I will take you for rainy walks and insist on our jumping in every puddle.
I will teach you to treat others with respect, and to see through the eyes of the world.
I will teach you what love is. And what it is not.
I will show you how to be big... immense. Sky-splitting and ear-splitting, and soul-splitting; and yet to love the small and wonderful things. 
I will cuddle under the blankets with you at night and read  stories by flashlight.
I will teach you to hope through despair, to joy through the rough patches, and to hold on to peace with all diligence as the wars rage.
I will show you how big the world is, and how small.
I will do all the regular things – wash your clothes, make your dinner, lace up your new shoes; and then at the right time, I’ll hand them back to you.
I will tell you the truth. Every time.
I will teach you to be both fearless and wise.
I will pray for you, with you, and behind your back.
I will teach you to make something unbelievable out of whatever is at hand.
I will sit in your room when you’re six and keep the Thing In The Closet at bay.
I will remember that I am a person, separate and unique, and I will continue to learn and grow and become, so that we'll have lives full of things to talk about when we're old. 
I will sing you songs, and plant them in your heart, so you’ll have something to hold on to when things go dark.
I will make home the place you love best.
I will teach you responsibility by giving you things you can handle, and expecting you to shine.
I will show you how to let gratitude live in your heart, that there may be no place for bitterness and contempt.
I will keep my word.
I will teach you that the best defense against the demons of self pity and depression and narrow thinking, is helping someone else. 
I will be your go-to girl, your new idea, your wailing wall, your secret-keeper.
I will watch the skies with you, I will dream with you, I will laugh and laugh and laugh with you, I will be pierced through, and sorrow with you, and then lift you out again.
I will understand.
I will push.
I will not give up. Ever.
And, like it or not, child of my heart, I will be your mama ‘till the day you die. Pinky promise. 

(just in case i start to forget...)


Teddi said...

i nearly cried.

Catherine said...

This is so beautiful, what a wonderful mum you are! Thank you for sharing. Just linking this to my facebook page! C x

The Black Heart Revolution said...

Absolutely beautiful :)

Katie said...

This is so, so lovely dear.

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much for sharing that Shawnacy. It is so important to slow down and really take time to enjoy our kids, especially when we as moms can get so busy.