Monday, November 15, 2010

Paying Peace Forward

I am still pruning people off my family and friendship trees.
I don't need anyone else to bring me to my knees.
With shame or feelings of little self-worth.
I'm simplifying my path on this earth.

There are too many who are still wanting to grow
For me to waste resources on those that put on a show
Of valuing the gifts that we've been sharing,
But in paying it forward, they've been very sparing.

We wonder where family values went;
This is a common old folks' lament.
But they still lobby for all that they're owed;
No matter that the young folks are carrying our load.

There are few grandparents available today
To keep working families from beginning to fray.
Not one of us made it without the help of others.
Would it hurt us to reach out to young fathers and mothers?

Can you spare a few moments for a colicky baby
Before her parents simply go crazy?
What about mopping a young mother's floor
Before her depression sends her husband out the door?

Are we so afraid to face our past pain
That we can't stand to be vulnerable again
To the gut-wrenching hurt of a baby's cry
When the mother feels that she wants to die?

I wish there was a network of grannies,
Uncles, aunts, grandpas and nannies
Who would be on call at a moment's notice
To restore hurting families back to some peace.

Expanding Our Arena

No, we're not moving; we're expanding our arena.
My granddaughter says it's too long since I've seen her.
Making new friends while keeping the old
Is not as easy as we've always been told.
Richard variously volunteers at a number of places,
And I need to see more of my people's faces.

We have orphaned nieces to care for who are now raising babies,
And widowed women who like our help in both places.
The Higgins boats are still being built for show,
So to the World War II Museum, Richard must go.
He's enjoyed the quiet a bit too much for my tastes
I'm forcing him to re-enter the dreaded rat race.

So much hustle and bustle tires him out
And filling up all the quiet has caused me to shout:
"I need more energy coming from others,
And not only from other grandmothers.
The children I love so quickly change;
After so many months, to them I am strange."

I can hear all of you laughing that I'm never normal,
But my strangeness becomes known not to be harmful.
I take lots of getting used to before comfort sets in;
I need regular contact with my life-long friends.
We don't know where we'll live while down south;
Nor do I know what I'll put in my mouth.

All I care about is that it will all be spicy;
Richard's enthusiasm is a bit more dicey.
He's quite undone by the boat builders' request
That he move himself a bit further southwest.
But for me, the request is music to my ears
An answer to prayer and many of my fears.