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A Poet's Eyes


Happy Mother's Day, everyone. At my church, we celebrate all women on Mother's Day--aunts, grandmothers, daughters, wives, partners, sisters, friends, women who've chosen not to have children or who long for them. Certainly motherhood is a singular, heart-rending experience. But I'm most interested in celebrating the Mothering that all of us are capable of, the nurturing force that might save this planet. You can access that no matter who you are.

Wyatt's been writing poetry at school lately, and getting really into it. I thought he might be embarrassed to talk about it or recite poems to me, but he just beams with pride. He doesn't know yet about that false modesty %*# that sets in later. He and I had some rare time alone today, walking down to the park for Isaac's birthday party. We were talking about poetry, and I asked him how he comes up with his great poems.  He said, "Ms. Kaneko tells us to look at things through a poet's eyes. That means that, if I was looking at this basketball hoop here, I'd try to think about what else it might look like or what else it might mean."

Can you see why I needed to write about this tonight? I just looked at him--his big front teeth, too-short pants, and Pokemon cards falling out of his pockets--and marveled. How did this intricate, amazing child come to be mine?

I love what Wyatt said about a poet's eyes. One of my rules for living, posted on my bathroom mirror, is "See my world (and messy house) through eyes of love." In other words, look at the basketball hoop and think about what else it might be trying to tell me. Notice the bent rim, the nylon net, all the children scuffling beneath it. See things both for what they are and for what they could be, and love them. I'm not prone to deifying motherhood, or even idealizing it. And there are lots of other ways to get in touch with life (and be brought low!) besides motherhood. But it's saved me from myself. It's saved me from walking past the basketball hoop without even noticing it. It's given me a poet's eyes.


Here's one of Wyatt's poems, so sweetly appropriate for Mother's Day. He knows I'm putting it on here and didn't protest. Whether you rock your baby to sleep tonight or you're longing for someone to rock you to sleep, may you blessed with peace, abundance, and yes--a poet's eyes.

Trees (by 7 yr. old Wyatt)

Swaying back,
and forth,
like a mom,
rocking her baby.
the wind,
dies down,
and the baby falls asleep.

Reader Comments (28)

Oh, your sweet boy. Sigh...That's a lovely poem. You are blessed.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermaija

This post is so precious! I was really touched both by your son's attitude and your outlook on all of our capacities for mothering. A friend from Bellingham recommended your blog to me a few months ago and I have been reading it ever since. I'm enjoying your insightful, funny, creative posts!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

I never had children, by choice) , but I can understand the love and special feelings only a mother can give and receive. My mother is an artist, and instilled all things creative in me (some good, some not so good!).

I love Wyatt's poem. He is a talented, sweet boy, because his parents are his mirrors.
Happy Mother's Day!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstacey snacks

I feel so lucky and happy I think I'm gonna burst open from pride.
On the way home from our picnic papa said he would never forget what he heard you tell your aunt Peggy, when she asked how your pregnancy was going with Wyatt. You never said the typical I hope I just have a healthy baby, or I wonder what he will look like. But what you did say was, "I wonder if he will be kind" He was so stuck by your concern.
As we were bragging about our kids and grand kids, like we always do on our way home, we thought now that we know Wyatt, you had nothing at all to worry about. He is the kindest and sweetest kid around, I don't think they come much kinder, more thoughtful, or as tender as is his sweet spirit. You are one lucky mommy today, and he and Loretta are luckier than they will ever know.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermfm

Peek- a- boo Loretta, I see those cute chubby little arms and fingers, covering up those big beautiful brown eyes, with the little dimples below them, hiding your award winning smile.
Thanks for sharing tea and cookies with me at the Kubota Gardens, you and Hannah Mae were the highlights! ....you are part of what makes Mother's Day for me, the grandest of all days.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermfm

I just started bawling. What sweetness. Thank you Sarah, for another beautifully written and heartfelt post. I need more of your energy in my life.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Sarah, it's such a joy to come to your blog and find a new post. They are such a lovely window into your life. This poem and the description of Wyatt's ability to see the world through the eye of a poet is precious. Plus, I as a non-Mom/active auntie feel so seen by you. Thanks

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

"See things both for what they are and for what they could be, and love them." This stuck out to me the most as a mama. It can be hard when my child(ren) are having tantrums, issues, weaknesses shining more than strengths to see them for who they are & their potential. That one little sentence rings true to so many crevices of my heart as a mama.

Wyatt has wonderful eyes to his heart (and others hearts). Your dad shared this poem today before he preached--gave me some misty eyes & many, "Awww's."

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKamille

i love wyatt.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

Sarah--I told my husband about this post & poem and his response was along the lines of---"there would have to be another poet to come out of that family...and that's so Jim Murphy's grandson."

I'm marveled still.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKamille

What a lovely poem--I'm a professor of English and I don't find such thoughtful words from my students most days. I've been reading your blog for about 6 months now and really enjoy it. Thanks for all your sentiments.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnemarie Russell

Yes, I did start my sermon with Wyatt's poem, followed by my assertion: Mom's rock !!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpapa

Very sweet, Sarah, and made me all teary eyed. Kind of a rough day for me - this was a great end. Thanks!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth DeK

Oh, Sarah! How totally moving, loving, and heart-warming! I'm so proud of you and your family, and if I ran things, I'd cause each child to grow up in a loving family like yours! Happy Mother's Day, and thank you!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynn M

Oh my gosh, Wyatt's poem is just beautiful. So glad he let you share it!

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

What a beautiful post. It made me tear up.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKitty

big sigh. what a heart melter. and a damn fine poet if I do say so myself.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEm


May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNoel

I read Wyatt's poem and got goosebumps. His poem is really good, and I'm not saying that just to be kind, although it is so important to be kind, like Wyatt seems to be. Happy day-after-Mothers Day. And thank you, Wyatt, for sharing your poem.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZip

LOVED reading your mom's comment about you wondering if Wyatt would be "kind" when you were pregnant with him. How sweet and touching. I can picture you and sweet Wyatt walking along...and him offering up some very introspective intelligent conversation..."looking through a poets eyes"

and as always, I love this cute little pic of Loretta, what a rascal:)

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Bless the child. For the poem, and the new eyes they give. Lovely.

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermolly

been reading your blog for a few weeks now. this post made me teary-eyed. i can't wait to be a mom and hope that someday (if blessed with one) my child is as kind and thoughtful as yours...

thank you so, so much for sharing.

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertania

Sarah - I have been looking for a recipe that I swear I got from you last summer...but I can't find it. It was a zuch choc cake that you made for the birthdays at??? I can't remember!! If only I could remember...please help!

May 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth DeK

Here it is, Beth. It wasn't in the recipe index! I fixed that. Hugs.


May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarahmk

YEA! Thanks so much! I have made it a few times and we loved it...easy and so cozy! Take care.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth DeK

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