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Just One Chance

I have just one child

and just one chance

to parent well -

to savor each stage.

I had just one pregnancy

to soak it all in:

his fluttery kicks

and him safely tucked close.

There was just one child

hitting all his firsts

and just one season

with a little baby at home.

I had just one toddler

exploring the world,

pushing my buttons,

revealing my impatience.

One kid went to school

for the first time,

There is one set of pictures

for each grade.

Now I have just one big kid

and before I blink

he will be my only teen.

One more blink

and he will be gone.

Each phase has gone

as quickly as it came

Nine years

gone so fast.

I was fully submerged in motherhood

and have been slowly pulled out

by fits and starts

as he's needed me

less and less.

His independence is good

his growth is desirable.

I hope he becomes a man

who can live and care for others

on his own.

But with just one child

it is hard to let go.

With just one child,

sweet stages end too soon.

I long for more time

before the house empties

and it's just... me.

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1 Comment

Joy Carey
Joy Carey
Jul 20, 2023

excellent poem. i like the directness and the rhythm

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