Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Best -

What A Poet Will Tell You

Our middle son, Xavier, at SeaWorld, age four.
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

In scattered circles

Spinning seeds away from the field where they play

He wants them to see what he now sees, how the wisps shimmer in the sunlight, but they won't want to hear, or look. he's learned that slowly,

By trying before

He stands by himself at the end of the field,

And I watch

As they all run past him, in the opposite direction

Away from the weightless feathery puffs that enchant him

My heart aches as I see in his face that he is beginning to know the truth

Already and that

It will be me that 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 want to shout.


I wrote this many years ago, as I sat and watched our now thirteen year old naturalist son, Xavier, play his first season of soccer when he was four.

I'm happy to tell you that since this was written, he has gone on to discover his true gifts: writing poetry on nature, a piece that went on to win Grand Prize in our regional area Nature Poetry Contest.

He's also received numerous blue ribbons for placing First with his art entries at our local County Fair. Xavier submitted an original design Christmas tree ornament that was accepted as the official Governor's  Christmas Tree Ornament at the Wisconsin state capitol. He also designed the Christmas Card that was selected as our School District's official Holiday Card.

And the list goes on..... 
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I am working HARD and conscientiously to have Xavier see himself as enough. And for me, also, to see him as enough when the world seems to be telling me he has to be MORE.


  1. This is such a beautiful poem.

    It is so wonderful that he has been given so many opportunities to share his work with a wider audience, and that it has been received so well. What a blessing for someone who is full of so much creativity.

  2. Beautiful words. Sounds like Xavier is being very successful pursuing the things he finds more suitable for him than soccer. Go, Xavier!

  3. A beautiful, heartfelt poem. Xavier is so accomplished!!

  4. smiles. i am glad you saw him for who he is beautiful too the way he sees the world....the world needs more poets and artists to help us to see...

  5. hello Alexandra, I am back and abandoned the break:) your poem is so beautiful. I think of my sons when they were four. my eldest is eighteen going on nineteen in September and the younger one is seventeen. Your son is so adorable and sweet and I am glad you wrote poems of the children. I wish I did.

  6. Just lovely! So glad to hear your boy is carving his own path to happiness. :)

  7. I love this one Alexandra. As another mother of a poetic, artistic, 'daisy picker' in the sports field, I appreciate what gifts these kids are. What a wonderful and gifted boy : ) Beautiful!

  8. Brilliant! I love it! Sports aren't for everyone. Nor should they be. You must be very proud. :)

  9. Oh, all of you, thank you so much.

    So much to say here:

    I leave my beautiful son be, and others tell me I need to push,push, push.

    But I love the way he is.

    Sigh. Thank you, so much, for having the ears and hearts to understand what I"m saying here.

    I wish I wouldn't have given in to so much pressure when he was younger, from other parents.

    I wish I would've just let him be so very many times.

    Lessons learned.

    Thank you.


    Also, I love the name Xavier. In French it's pronounced 'Xzaveeyay.'

  11. What a beautiful poem. I think Xavier has it spot-on. I'd love to see a pic of the ornament and card. I know - win or lose - poet or no - you're quite proud of you guy...

  12. I'm going to try and learn from your lessons - my son is a kindred spirit to yours and it's STILL hard to not succumb to the pressures of the sporty parents. I love your words so much - I can see where he gets (at least some of) his talent from... :-)

  13. Oh, I didn't know about the Christmas ornament, how cool is that! Your sweet sweet origami middle child...

  14. Oh, this is gorgeous.

    Plus, I've always thought soccer was a total crock.

    That's right. I said it.



  15. It's so wonderful you recognized his real love and realy talents, rather than forcing him to stay with something that didn't meet his true spirit. Were all moms as perceptive and brave as you . . .

  16. So beautiful. I sense that my son is similar, in a way. Possibly not one for sports. We'll try but I will not push. We have to listen to our children, not others who want our kids to be like theirs. So awesome that you shared this. And I agree with Anna!

  17. That is so amazing, A. I love that you see this in him and accept it, even encourage it. He's done well, and he has his mama, in part, to thank.

  18. Do you know how much I love all of you?

    I do.
    I am so lucky to know all of you.

    Thank you.

  19. I just love this post! Some kids love sports, but others are poets and artists. We just have to let them know it's OK to pursue their own talents.

  20. I LOVE it. Tears in my eyes , love it. Jacob is my creative child, my actor, my musician, my "poet" and when I was reading the post from Cheryl last week I kep thinking about it, how will introduce him to things like sports when I am not sure he will enjoy them or excel at them as much as he does replaying the whole movie of Rango to us? Thank you for writing this, it has given this mom some hope in her heart....truly.
    Also, what fantastic things that Xavier has been a part of that's outstanding!

  21. He reminds me of the bull Ferdinand in the children's book. He too took time to enjoy the beauty of the world around him.

  22. You are such a good mom- letting him find his area to shine.

  23. I absolutely LOVE this!! It's so beautiful and touching! My middle son is a gentle soul, much like Xavier. When I signed him up for t-ball he used to twirl in circles while in the outfield, and when he grew bored he would just sit down (I mean, if you're tired why WOULDN'T you sit down, right?) Many of his team members were ultra competitive but my Charlie didn't care. He picked dandelions and brushed the dust off his sparkling, white uniform, and cheered for his team when someone did something great! He was just...happy. His gentle soul melts my heart every day and I wouldn't change him for the world!

  24. What an amazing kid! I'm blown away by his accomplishments!

    I'm glad my parents figured out early enough in my life that I just wasn't cut out to runraceoutperformplayhard. It's not for me - just as it wasn't for Xavier. And as is so clearly evidenced by your remarkable boy, once you do find the area a kid's cut out for and nurture that a little, watch out, because there's nothing they can't do. Good for him, and good for YOU for encouraging him to be himself.

  25. Oh I love this so much.
    Sometimes I have to remind myself... to wait... wait just a little... before giving in to the need to push... because before long, I usually see that I... him... it... is already enough.
    What a wonderful boy you have.

  26. Such a beautiful poem - and I'm so glad he's discovered where he's suppose to be!

  27. yaaaay for xavier!!! a poet and an artist? who needs soccer???

  28. I love this because you See him and allow him to be him...

    So beautiful!
    And, I love the new blog look!

    Muy bien, amiga!

  29. I feel like I made a comment on this already but it must just be deja vu...this really hit home for me with my musically inclined son who had a similar experience with soccer

  30. Oh my heavens. This just made me cry, what a lovely picture of a sweet boy with a poet's soul

  31. As they say with all things parenting... We know our own kids best. This is a beautiful poem, and more than that, it's wonderful to see your son flourish because you see him for who he is and embrace that.

    Love to you!

  32. I thought I was the only one who wasn't pushing.
    Not in sports, school, socialization...

    My children go their own way at their own pace. This works for them. For us.

    I get looks sometimes.
    I know some of my friends wonder if my kids would accomplish MORE if only I made it mandatory.

    But I won't make my support contingent on their being anything but happy. They don't have to be the best anything.

    Except themselves.

    Lucky Xavier to have you.
    And lucky you, too.

  33. I'm glad you're nurturing your son's talents. I wish more parents did that.

  34. I was so happy to read this today. I have a dandelion-picker myself, and he's fabulous.

    Beautiful words, Empress.

  35. This is beautiful! My husband told me years ago that he cost his Little League team their championship game because he was playing left field and when a ball came his way, he was busy sitting in the dandelions, looking for four-leafed clovers and picking his nose. Slightly less poetic, but the sentiment is the same. He turned out to be an amazing guitarist and artist, and I'm glad your son has found his own calling!

    Kudos to you, Mama, for recognizing early on that your son didn't have to conform! It's great to see parents who encourage their children to do what they love.

  36. Lucky son to have a parent who recognized early on that he didn't have to "get out there and do it!" just because other kids did. The difficulty and importance of letting our children write their own scripts and find their own path - paramount. But so hard, given all the conflicting pressures on them (and us) to follow the herd. I hate that even if kids do like sports and want to play there is pressure to do MORE, to go to a sports camp, a special coach, etc etc etc. What happened to just kicking a ball around for laughs? Where did we get this idea that everyone has to be a professional-grade player by the age of six? ARGH. And--even more importantly--where is the picture of that ornament???

  37. Lovely. Both so lucky to have eachother!

    This reminded me of our son who loved to play in the dirt rather than watch if the baseball was thrown to him at second base.

    You are such a wonderful mom to see the light and let it his own time.


  38. Beautiful poem. Beautiful. I am so curious on how my girls will do with organized activities, will they be into it or will they want to do their own thing?

  39. Not to take anything away from my beloved Baby E, but I want to see more from Xavier. Maybe a creation of the week? He sounds like a very wonderful guy.

  40. This is absolutely beautiful! What you're son has accomplished is just wonderful!

  41. This is just beautiful, Alexandra. And you must be so proud of your son. He is very talented indeed, and I'm glad he realized what his true calling is :)

  42. congratulations to xavier for all his success. it's not easy to be in team sports and not have the conventional desire to dominate. i can relate. i remember playing competitive basketball and thinking in my head how the other guys on the team(s) really want to win, and that's okay. i got accused of not having heart. maybe it was true. i happen to think this competitive culture is diseased. friendly competition is good, not what xavier got away from.
    beautiful, as usual.



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