How beautiful you are
(Written for my children some years ago - but seems even more relevant now, particularly the last stanza.)
I catch myself watching you
as you play in the garden,
bend in intense concentration over your latest craft activity,
mess up the kitchen making a sponge cake.
You look up and smile
but if you find I'm watching you too often
you ask what's wrong
and I tell you for the thousandth time that
I cannot believe how beautiful you are.
Amidst mud or glue, or clouds of flour
you giggle and grumble and grin your way through life.
The distance between us grows
but so does the love.
Letting you grow up and be whole
is the hardest of all privileges.
I want to protect you,
to make everything perfect, precise, safe and sound.
I want to heal you, help you, hide you and guide you
but I do you no honour if I make the world
a saccharine place of empty security.
So live a real life, a full life,
a life with scratches and disappointments
that mark the truth of living in abundance.
Live a whole life, a generous life,
a life with ups and downs,
heartaches and joyful celebrations.
Live a human, glorious life,
and fly safe in the knowledge that I will love you
when the landings are smooth and
I will pick you up and love you still when the landings are rough.
Live a real life.