This afternoon as I sat on the couch reading a magazine (OHbaby) and ignoring the mess around me I came across this poem by Lisa-Jo Baker, as I read it the tears started to stream down my face because the Mother in the poem was just like my Mother who has always come, when I wouldn’t sleep, when I fell over and grazed my knee, when my boyfriend broke my heart and even when I crashed her car.
A Mothers Promise.
I’m tired and she’s tired. I’ve already put her to bed more than once tonight. She’s standing in the cot on tippy toes with soft chubby arms stretched out to me as far as she can lean. She’s standing with eyes trained on the door and fingertips craning towards me. I’ve washed the dishes. I’ve stacked the dishwasher. I’ve feed the dog. The boys are playing with Peter who’s finally made it home. She cries softly. She knows I’m close And when I pull back the folding door and see those arms and those tippy toes and that look on her face. I want to wrap my life around her
I will always come, baby.
She’s in my arms and slowly beginning the ritual of stroking my right arm. Her curls are warm and sweaty and teh pudgy baby cheek fits right under my chin.
I will always come.
I dance with her slowly the rock and roll of motherhood and I know this is a promise I can stake my life on.
I will always come
When you forget your lunch. When you are sheep number five in the Christmas play. When you take up the recorder and bleat all the way through the Easter service. When you get that bad haircut. When you think you want to be a beauty queen. When you swear off fashion altogether.
I will come.
When the mean girls make you want to shrivel inside your skin. When a teacher intimidates you. When you intimidate a teacher. When you think you can sing and try out for a musical. When you get laughed at and people point fingers at your hair and your shoes and your too bony hips.
My Darling, I will come.
When that boy breaks your heart and your stranded at a university kilometres away, I will come. When the internship you thought was part of your calling falls through. When a friend gets sick. When the car crashes. When you run out of petrol, chocolate cookies and faith.
I will be there.
When you say your “I dos”. When you start your happily ever afters. When none of it quite feels like you thought it would. When you don’t know how to pick a mattress, when the sofa is in the wrong place.When you regret what feels like signing your life away to someone else. When you remember how to say sorry. When you need a safe place to say how clicheed you feel all ‘barefoot and pregnant’ I will so be there. When the baby wont sleep and the worlds on fire with sleep exhaustion.
Sweetheart I will come.
When your husbands out of work. When your job threatens to break your heart. When toddlers make you question your sanity. When you’ve run out of tears and still the tears keep coming.
I will come.
When you move and move and relocate again. When you pack boxes and dreams and hope. When your life is a world of duct tape and questions.
I will still come.
When your home is warm and your heart if full. When you’re at peace. When you need someone to share the joy, to watch the kids, to admire the dimples. When you still can’t pick a sofa, when you wish you had never said yes to the dog.
When you don’t know where your going. When your the most sure of yourself you have ever been. When your holding onto faith with just your fingernails. Zoe I will always come. I will rock and roll you with my love and the promise that I will help you get back on your feet. I will hold your hand. I will rejoice. I will babysit. I will pass the tissues. I will wash the dishes.
I will come.
And the day after. And after
And then some.
I sit here with boxes stacked under the table waiting our move in two weeks, many more needing to be packed. Robbie will arrive back the day before we move. I know its ok. Mum and Dad and my siblings will come. They will help pack, they will baby sit.
That’s the thing about my family, any time one of us calls, or has a birthday, or moves house, or anything else the rest of us will be there.
Because that was what our Parents and Grandparents taught us and its why were are all so close now.
Its the Mother I want to be.
Finally found the page on her website with this poem