Saturday, June 5, 2010

What A Poet Will Tell You

Our middle son, Maximus (now 13), at SeaWorld, when age 4.




I hear his coaches shout "get in the game" and "go after the ball"

I cringe knowing the shouts are directed at him

And I sit in silent anger at myself for putting him here

Giving into the pressure of "You've got to push him"

He'd rather show them there's no reason to

"hustle" and shove, and yell so loud

When there are so many other ways to be

That are easier to be.

When told "get in there and win" he'll ask if it

Matters who wins, if everyone gets a chance to play?

Too soon, he tires of the ball being kicked, and the legs that fly at

You with no warning

Of the elbow that pushes to get at the ball they all want, with shouts of "over here!"

He'll hear someone call his name, barely, but he can't pull away from where his

Attention is drawn

His face looks up to the dandelion wishes that are floating in the morning's soft wind, swirling up

In slow circles,

Scattering seeds away from the field where they play

He wants them to see what he now sees, but they won't want to hear, he's learned that slowly,

By trying before

He stands by himself at the end of the field, as they all run past him, in the opposite direction

Away from the sun that warms the weightless feathery puffs that circle up

As I watch him, my heart aches from seeing in his face that he is beginning to know the truth

Already and that

It will be me that slowly has to tell him, year by year,

That he will have to wait for the time when people will want to hear the words that the poet's

Heart wants to shout.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wrote this many years ago, when our now 13 year old naturalist son, Maximus, played his first season of soccer when he was about 4.

I'm happy to tell you that since this was written, our son's poetry has gone on to win Grand Prize in our regional area Nature Poetry Contest.

He's also received many a blue ribbon for placing 1st with his art entries at our local County Fair. Maximus submitted an original design Xmas tree ornament that was accepted as the official Governor's Tree Xmas Tree Ornament at our state capitol. He designed the Xmas Card that was selected as our School District's official Holiday Card.

And the list goes on..... 


*I apologize for the seemingly haphazard breaks, but Blogger has been messin' with my mind again. It all looks good in preview, but something happens to the layout after "Publish Post."

67 comments:

  1. I am so sorry it took so much for you to find me! I will have to look into that! I am glad you did though!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is very sweet. My 6 year-old will shout "Look at the butterfly!" when he's out playing left field in Little League.

    Congrats on your son's win - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I see!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats to your son!! It's so amazing and wonderful when we find our place in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ahhh...the good times. This reminds me of my son's babeball days.

    I used to feel the same way when my son was young and playing ball. There were many coaches that I wanted to smack!

    What a sweet son you have! Mine never seemed to mind it, and as he got older, actually told me to get over it, that this is how we get better...ughhh!

    Sure enough, by the time he was a Jr and Sr in highschool, he and the older boys "rode" (this is what he called it) the younger ones the same way! "Grooming them." Then it was my son I wanted to smack!

    I guess I just don't understand guy speak!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very sweet. It shows how well you knew him and that you knew where he was headed even then.

    Nice thing to read first thing in the morning.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. A budding poet in the making!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, Empress! That is a beautiful poem! How lucky is your son to have a poetic mother?!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The are the minds that need to be cultivated, not placed in a mold, to conform!

    ReplyDelete
  9. We are what we are and clearly your son's talents lie off the field and on paper. How wonderful that he has done so well with it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. that really was so beautiful. a feeling of contentment while i read. i have a son just like that. i love him. i love this post! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. he is promising..
    Happy Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had my son play soccer one season. He was far more interested in the bugs on the ground. I know now that kids will find their own passions if given the opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My oldest was the same way!

    Does your son publish his poetry or have a blog?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yay! Go Maximilian! Massive congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What beautiful words for your son. I'm all about day dreaming and letting my thoughts go with the breeze.

    Hope you have a "dandelion" filled day.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, little boy. That is a long wait sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a beautiful poem and I'm really impressed that you could see his inner poet so early on. What an amazing little (now big) guy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. wonderful verse...and congrats to your son on his accomplishments...he sounds like quite the amazing fellow...

    ReplyDelete
  19. You must be so proud! It amazes me how serious it is to have little tiny children playing sports and in dance classes. Not everyone is Tiger Woods (thank goodness). Can't we just have fun?

    ReplyDelete
  20. The world needs more poets as well as artists and dreamers. And what a beautiful poem to your son.

    ReplyDelete
  21. this is just marvelous. and i love the flash-forward to his success now. i mean, i was caught in that moment of him in the game and not in the game at all. this crazy culture of competition is just that: crazy. i love this.

    i was in sports my whole life, and i was a good athlete, but i hated the competition and wilted in the face of it. took me years to forgive myself. this culture is so whacky with winning at all cost. at our own expense!

    your son is lucky to have your vision from the sidelines.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Although I’m not too hot and any kid playing sports at four, because dandelions, ants, grasshoppers and other critters are more interesting to a kid at that age, you at least introduced him to the sport. It is better to give him/her a pressure free season to see if they might like it, that to force him/her to play year after year. And I think it is awesome that he likes poetry. I wish I did, but I never could understand it. But take solace (if it is needed) that all those ‘jocks’ will one day call your son boss.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That last line did me in.

    Your son and my son, so much the same.

    So sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lovely. I felt like I was reading about my own son.

    Lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm officially speechless. How well you knew your son at four, how beautifully you wrote about him,
    how universal these feelings/experiences are, and how amazingly well this turned out. Bravo, Maximus, you've obviously inherited your talent.

    Now, I can tell you I will read and reread your last comment to me. It has given me inspiration and will continue to provide hope to me. Believe me when I say it's the most important thing I've read (and, yes, unfortunately, I've been googling). Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much! God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Awwww,

    "It will be me that slowly has to tell him, year by year,

    That he will have to wait for the time when people will want to hear the words that the poet's

    Heart wants to shout."

    broke my heart. Beautiful lines.

    I LOVE that picture with the starfish! AND I love his uniqueness that you've described here. (clapping for you)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I like this so much.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like this so much.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Congrats to your son. I have had bad times with Baseball. My Coach was a Godzilla and made that Dinosaur sound all the time.
    Have a good day...:)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wonderful! This world needs more poets and less "ball" players! Congratulations to your young poet!

    Best,
    Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  31. just found your blog, and i am already in tears, that was just so.....beautiful. your son sounds like a an amazing kid

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you so much for coming to my blog and posting your lovely comment, as that has led me here to you. I love how you know and appreciate your son so clearly. As the mother of two sons who walk off the beaten path, I understand all too well, and can relate to this deeply. Congratulation to your son, that he has embraced his unique strengths and found recognition there at such a tender age (many of us had to wait for college and beyond).

    ReplyDelete
  33. I LOVE this. And I can so relate because I'm feeling the same thoughts about my son when he is in la-la land in the outfield at baseball games and his coaches yell at him to pay attention. And congrats to you son the poet! Writing is in his genes.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Beautiful! It reminds me of, "Those who hear not the music, think the dancers mad."

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congrats to your oh so talented son! And I feel you about blogger. We're moving to WP next week!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Ahhhhh!! My boy was the sweet, gentle type also....he seems to have moved past that though with the raging hormones lately...I miss my sweet quiet boy...

    :-D

    ReplyDelete
  37. beautiful, Empress! No wonder your son is a poetic genius.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm so impressed! With your poem and with your son! What an amazing kid. Sometimes it feels like we put our kids in a lot of hard situations, doesn't it? Like we're trying to mold them into being people they're not all for the sake of conformity, tradition, or just because. But I'm so glad to hear that he is finding his voice and that you are helping him to flourish in his own unique, most magnificent way! What a proud moment for you.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This was so touching. And I'm happy to see his poet's soul has flourished!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Happy Sunday!
    Hope that you and your boy have a jump start next week.
    cheers!
    he looks handsome and smart.

    ReplyDelete
  41. How well and honestly you've expressed such true feelings that kids and their moms often feel without always realizing it.

    Overlaid with assumptions - of how we should be, of how sports is healthy despite its competitive nature, of how we need to need to 'win' in some shape or form because the alternative is 'losing' and that is not a good alternative...- we push on without pausing to ask Why? and Do we really want this?

    BTW Empress, I just love your attitude. It really makes all the difference especially when you're cleaning toilets :)

    And thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Beautiful.
    My boy is a kindred spirit, most definitely.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This really resonated with me. My oldest son is a lover, not a fighter. So his soccer attempts were almost painful for me to witness. So glad your son found his niche with poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Wonderful! What a great expression from a mother's eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I loved the way you express a mothers heart through your vision. I also raised two sons,how different each child is, just amazes me ...still.

    Great post loved it
    Reana

    ReplyDelete
  46. What a sweet poem. Congrats to your son, too. (Blogger craps up my posts periodically too, but it seemed to work in this instance)

    ReplyDelete
  47. So wonderful, Alexandra. It is especially poignant because you wrote this almost 10 years ago. Maximus knew, and you knew that he knew, and you let him nurture the person he is. You're a wonderful mom. He will go on to win even more prizes (not that that is the most important thing) and even more acclaim, because he is doing what he loves and has such talent in it.

    I love to be able to nurture the different sides in our boys. My son likes to write poetry too. I tell him, you go, boy!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh, what a beautiful, lovely poem. So happy for your son's accomplishment. He must be as talented as his awesome mom!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I came here through Joann's blog. I loved this post. I had a poet and a dancer:-) Congrats to your son-that is so great.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Fortunately he had a mother who could hear the poet's voice, even before its time.

    Congratulations Maximus.

    ReplyDelete
  51. This breaks my heart and makes me smile at the same time - I have this same fear for my older boy, who is so sensitive and also so eager to please - he likes sports, but doesn't like the rough and tumble... I know my heart will hurt at his future games!

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is great. Sad but sweet thinking back.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Lovely! Taking in every detail of the world around him, even at a young age.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I loved this poem, so, so much.

    This is the hardest part of parenting,yet the most important. It's about letting them be who they are, especially when they are facing a different direction and the others are running past them.

    And, yay for him, a poetry award!

    Acorn, oak.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Beautiful, beautiful poem! I just wrote about my son and his sports. Stop by my blog, I left something for you!

    ReplyDelete
  56. it's tough on boys when they are not big into sports. Our society has made it so it's a must and that's sad. Mazel Tov on his win.

    ReplyDelete
  57. What a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it at The Red Dress Club. I look forward to reading more from you.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Beautiful! I'm in awe that you recognized the poet in your son even at that young age.

    ReplyDelete
  59. incredible poem. you've managed to capture your son's childhood, his innocence and the harsh reality that the world doesn't often lend itself to dreamers.

    i'm curious to know what the format looks like outside of blogger!

    and of course saying hi from TRDC!

    ReplyDelete
  60. That is a beautiful poem Alexandra... For a minute the world looks so safe and innocent again...

    Go Maximus!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I love the overflowing love you have for your children. And for everything in this world. I feel so lucky to know you.

    ReplyDelete
  62. This really spoke to me. I just dropped my 5 year old off into the kindergarten world this week.
    Already she's asked me some questions that have alerted me to the fact that the world is not going to be the way she thought it was in her sensitive heart. It makes me feel powerless.

    I hope she stays herself through it all and comes out relatively unscathed.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love this. And I can so, so relate.

    My girls do the dandelion thing, too. And their hearts? Are all poetry.

    XO

    ReplyDelete
  64. I read something like this and I realize that I cannot wait until my kids really define their own journey.

    Thank you for sharing.

    And kick ass writing poetry, Maximus!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails