Purple: The Color of Parenting

Parenting years continue
To roll out.
The grainy texture of which
I’ve been sculpting
Kneading
Mashing
Shaping in my hands
To build and rebuild
Malleability to form new.

I remember bringing
Our first baby home
From the hospital
After a 48 hour labor
That brought me to my knees
And resulted in drugs and
Necessary medical intervention.

Upon bringing her home,
Two graduate degreed adults
Wholly uneducated about
The care and handling
Of newborns struggled
To figure out which side
Of the diaper was the front.

We followed step by step
Instructions from a book
Which included photographs
On how to bathe a baby
Until the chord fell off
While she shivered ridiculously
Under blowing air conditioned
Overhead vents.

We read multiple nursing books
To contemplate the usefulness
Of the football versus
The cradle holds
While waiting 4 full days,
With twisted hands,
Trying to soothe a crying infant,
Until my milk came in.
Such intense moments during
The first baby’s few months
That I would not trade
For anything.

While life was far from rosy,
Filled with financial struggle
That included having credit cards
Denied at checkout
With a cart full of groceries,
The kids with me,
And a long line behind me.
So much adult loneliness too.

Still, years at home gave me
The opportunity to
Jump in and stay emerged
Under the parenting ocean
With full body smiles
And heart throbbing.

Because I was there,
I saw the kids
Achieve important milestones
Earmarked for passing
At certain ages.

They laughed and walked
Within the timeframe books said
They were supposed to,
Began counting, reading and writing
When they needed to–

There were no Special Ed
Learning plans to axe through
Within a dreadful system–
They were able to sail through
School subjects well enough,
Have been sufficiently
Well liked by their peers
To get invited to birthday parties
Where an expert from
Some rescue foundation
Brings a live hawk and
A bald eagle(!) to show the kids.

Have been healthy and
Good enough at sports
To have physical and social fun
On lacrosse and golf teams–

Upon answering the phone
For a survey once,
I was lucky enough to say,

“No, we have never even been
To the Children’s Hospital.
We’ve never had to go.”

Seeing as the kids
Appear to be growing and
Learning as they should
And will,
I know that
I am wrapped in
Purple velvet royalty
Of fabulous fortune.
My cup and crown of life riches
Overflow with
Immeasurable gratitude.

Purple

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