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And four teen[s] don't keep

A few weeks ago I read this poem on Lovelyn's instagram feed.  I'd heard it before and it fits her season with twin babies so perfectly.  It's not my season, but it's beautiful. (I would've linked to her image, which was also beautiful, but I couldn't figure out how to do that since it didn't post to facebook.)

I decided I needed to write a version of "Babies don't keep" for my season.

Because it has beauty all it's own.

My daughter Hannah turned 14 yesterday.  So I decided to title it

Four Teen[s] Don't Keep

Get it?!  four teens? fourteen? : ) (Technically Danielle's a preteen but I decided I was allowed some wiggle room.  I'm raising teenagers after all.) : )

So without further ado...

Four Teen[s] Don't Keep

Mother---uh, Moooooooom!
come tidy your house.
Do some of the dishes,
get the laundry off the couch.
Put away all your papers, for once make up your bed.
Do you remember how to iron, or make homemade bread?

Where is this mom whose house is so shocking?
Who used to return phone calls and enjoy friends and talking?
Who's pace was slower, and routine simpler back when
the kids were all home doing school in the den?

The crockpot was always simmering with stew
and 'round a large table she fed all of her crew.
Back when days were spent at the library and park
and mommy and daddy had quiet evenings after dark.

I found her!  She's in the suburban again
driving the road to the school that she's been
back and forth to ten times already this day
picking up and dropping off different kids on the way.

Then to youth, then to games, then to the store for some socks
Oh and don't forget to pick up the friend down the block!

They need money for this, they need money for that.
And she's looking for someone to pull it out of a hat.

'Are you late, mom, I had to wait TEN minutes today?!'
'Sorry your sister's dismissal was delayed.
As hard as I try, I can't be two places at once.'
A sigh, a latte, and a prayer for patience.

Get some pizza for dinner, I've got nothing at home.
We'll have to eat in shifts and then get homework done.

And as I collapse on the couch for a chat
my man is pulled into ensuing combat
And what could've been shared quality time
Becomes an evening spent mediating and disciplining crime.

For as you let out on the strings inch by inch
they grab and they tug wanting more, and you wince
Because sometimes more slack is just what they need,
but maybe they need practice in how to concede?
And there's no one to tell you how far and how much
There's no book or expert to act as your crutch.

Each decision is different, and each kid more still
You pray and you trust that you're doing His will.
Because they're yours for a season, a season is all
And you're sensing it's fading to colors of fall.

That soon they will leave, and while this always a home
It will be visits and short terms... more often they'll roam.
And the evenings will echo with absence of life
void of selves colliding in laughter and strife
no guitar riffs or pleas of injustice amassed
no noise of the chaos of bedtimes long past.
And my favorite chair will always be mine
No one to fight for my spot all the time.

Where will we go and what will we do?
Riding around in a suburban, just us two?

It's crazy and hard, and some days nothing's left.
But it's where I am called, no one promised me rest.
And ease, ha! I laugh to think how that could be
With four teens to raise, their decisions unseen.

The driving, the noise, the hard of these days
They are my gifts, my invitations to praise.
Soon all this will pass and become memories
I don't want to miss the glimpses of Glory.

So brew me some coffee, and make it real strong.
Put it in my to-go cup so I can take it along.
No more time for writing, there's no time for sleep.
I'm chauffeuring my teens, and teenagers don't keep.



Christy said...

LOVE IT!!!! You did such a great job! :) And you are such a great mom! :)

To God be the Glory! said...

LOVE IT too Christy...and tears at "That soon they will leave, and while this always a home, It will be visits and short terms... more often they'll roam." Sunrise, Sunset...swifty goes the years...

We Are Family said...

TEARS as I loosen those strings....

Oldqueen44 said...

Lovely post

Deena said...

I love this! I've shared it with my mom friend who is always in the van like me... we both struggle with the hectic lives we lead, yet we know that we need to focus on the gift that it is! You are such an awesome writer! Thanks for sharing your heart. I soooo "get" this poem!!!!