April 2017

Invisible thread

 

You are attached to me
by an invisible thread
that has to keep you
visible

Like an extendable dog lead,
it lengthens
as you grow.

But in the playground,
I clutch it
as you race and scoot
in whatever world
you’ve thrown around yourself.

I hover on the edge of it,
Rejoicing in your free-range play,
but keeping you in view.
Letting you run free, until
you leave my field of view.

Then, the thread tightens.
I pull at it desperately,
hollering your name.
Gushing it out, like a revolving sprinkler
over the playing children,
floundering around, wobble-legged
in a swirling sea of panic,
tugging at the thread,
my lifeline.

You play cat and mouse,
pushing your boundaries,
asserting your right
to roam freely,
shaking off the grown-up
who hovers over your imaginary world,
where you are indomitable,
pulling you back.

The panic waves have infiltrated
your world.
Someone points
behind a tree stump,
and you emerge
red-faced and rattled
like someone awaken too roughly
from dreams.
I haven’t finished my story! you shout.
You tantrum like a toddler.

That evening
in the precious hour
between
your sleep and mine,
a holler from upstairs
pierces
my ballooning thoughts.
Mummy!
The dangling thread
pulls tight.

 

© Emily Rogers

“I value every precious moment with my children – or at least I try to.”*

Living in the moment is such an integral part of being a mother. The world rushes by, and so does their babyhood, despite all that relishing, savoring and devouring. Watching some home videos of my three-year-old as an infant and toddler, I found myself enraptured, remembering those blissful times (clearly blanking out the bleary-eyed exhaustion). Even now that we are well out of the baby years and immersed in more challenging times, I take the time to pause, be still and cherish.

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* by Anne‑marie Taplin, author of Being Mummy