I can hear you both,
when you talk about my son.
Eyes lowered, whispering under your breath.
You don’t think I know the context of the conversation?
How does she do it?
She doesn’t do enough.
I would do it different.
I wouldn’t let him get away with that.
Thank goodness he isn’t mine.
I only hope his hearing isn’t
as good as his mother’s.
How do I love such a creature as him?
You mean the most witty six-year-old you have ever met?
The one with the vocabulary that rivals my own,
I do it by asking him to tell me a story.
When he finishes he jumps up, grabs on to me
as if a Koala, tells this mama he loves her so.
I don’t do enough – you say this
because you have seen
just five minutes of us.
You are not there, as I scoop him off the floor
after the fifth tantrum of the day-
The one where at just six years old
“I hate my life,
you can’t control me”.
You are not there as I pull him into my arms
hold the boy still,
calm the nerves,
of the one who never grows that fast,
so that at six he still fits in my lap
that his life isn’t so bad.
You would do it different?
Really, tell me how? Yell at him in public,
beat him till he was blue,
be less stern with him,
medicate him less,
Would you schedule more meetings with his teacher,
set up more med checks with his pediatrician,
would you change the whole diet of this family,
lock him in his room till he was eighteen?
Quit your job, school him at home?
Please tell me – what-
would you do?
Let him get away with what?
noticing every last thing in the world,
stopping for every flower that looks different?
Punish him for his frustration,
tell him to bottle it away?
His energy, you would contain it?
His synapses-You would stop them for firing how?
Would you punish his frontal lobe cortex?
Tell it next time, it better shape up?
Thank goodness he isn’t yours?
Thank goodness he isn’t yours.
They say you get the children
you are supposed to,
and he was supposed to be mine.
As if you would even know
where to begin,
with someone as special as him.
But this time,
I am just going to have to walk away.