(Written 18 years ago, when I was preggers with Abby.)
Someday soon, my daughter will wear these booties,
tiny feet splayed out in pink,
ready for the world.
in the blink of an eye
and a flutter of her impossibly perfect lashes
she will trade them in for
as she explores the world
one stumbly step at a time.
A closet full of Mary Janes
sweet little sandals
tennis shoes, for keeping up with her big brother
ballet slippers and soccer cleats
basketball hightop and cowboy boots.
And before I know it,
high heels for the Prom.
(I can already see her rolling her eyes at me,
my opinions intolerably archaic and uncultured,
as we struggle to shop for the perfect dress.)
Heaven help us
she may even request a pair
of clunky Doc Martins or other trendy
parentally offensive style,
at which we will roll our eyes
and turn our heads whenever possible
as though we were not part of the
parachute pants and mini skirts with leg warmers generation.
before I have time to realize my nest is now empty
she will pack them all carefully away
step farther from me than ever before
off to chase her dreams, and pound the grounds of some
There, will she trade them for a doctor’s scrub shoe covers?
Sensible teacher’s shoes?
The expensive Versaces of a successful business executive?
The fanciful styles of a designer, an artist, a writer?
The tennis shoes or comfy slippers of a stay-at-home Mommy?
Who will she be
this young woman who came from me?
Through it all, there will be
broken laces and broken hearts
stubbed toes and stubborn streaks
long walks and tearful talks.
And it will be my sole purpose in life
to help her keep her feet plated firmly on the ground,
and still make room
for her wings to fly.
My Mother’s Day gift from Abby this year is a response poem.