Celebrating International Children's Day
Creating A Better World for All Children
These poems are a tribute to not only my daughter but to the children of the world. They honor children for their pureness of heart, honesty, imagination, and their inquisitive minds which give them such an amazing capacity to learn. We must endeavor to build a more loving and just world where all children can grow up in a safe environment and not be exploited or abused, and have the opportunity to develop their unique gifts and feel good about themselves.
The Patter of Little Feet
I still hear the patter of your little feet
running down the hall,
"mama, mama," you would call
with arms outstretched for me-
to hold you as you were frightened by
the loud claps of thunder.
And I would give you a warm embrace.
"There's nothing to be afraid of...
this will pass and the sun will
soon come out."
Then I placed you on my lap,
in a big rocking chair,
and I would read you a story.
The thunder suddenly becoming much
quieter... only the patter of raindrops
falling on the windows could now be heard.
"Look it's the rain and it makes seeds grow.
Remember the little seed you planted yesterday?"
And then I would take your little hands and fold them
inside of mine and show you how a
seed grows into a lovely flower.
And often times
when we looked out the window again,
the sun was there and a beautiful rainbow
would appear in the sky.
You would take your crayons out
and draw the rainbow and the sun...
then you and I holding hands
with such happy, smiling faces.
Now, you've grown into a radiant flower
spreading beauty and joy wherever you go...
a lovely rainbow of color follows you
in your path as you share your
grace and gifts with others.
And whenever I hear the patter of rain
falling against the window,
I hear the patter of little feet
against the floor...
and hear your sweet voice calling as if it
were only yesterday-
and I still feel the softness and warmth
of your little body
as I would hold you in my arms...
forever, my little flower.
Just Like Thumbelina
I remember the tenderness
of your little hands
and the scent of your sweet soft curls
under my chin;
with your little feet folded under you on my lap,
I would read your favorite story...
After I read the story,
you would use your little hands
to imitate Thumbelina flying on her swallow;
and seeing others who needed help,
you would signal with your hand
that you were flying down
to rescue them-
a little bird with a broken wing,
a puppy or kitten who was in trouble
or a little child who looked lost-
you would say,
"They're all right now,
mom, safe from harm."
And then we would
sing your favorite song
and you would dance,
twirling round and round,
making graceful gestures with your arms.
"Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing
Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing,
Thumbelina, what's the difference if you're very small?
When your heart is full of love, you're nine feet tall!"
Then all the little animals who were broken
and all the ones who were lost and needed help...
would become the names of your
toys in your room and I would
help you mend their injuries.
Now I see you as a grown woman
using your incredible gifts of mind and loving heart
in rescuing those who are injured or lost...
restoring their hope
and the possibility to see themselves,
once again, in the promise of a new day.
My Snow Angel
When you were a little girl,
I remember dressing you
in a lavender snowsuit,
with a heart on its jacket,
and little red boots
so that you could go outside to play.
You were dazzled
by this wintry world
with its soft white drifts,
your eyes full of wonder and delight
as you reached for icicles
which dangled from branches of trees.
Lying in the snow,
you would make snow angels
as I had taught you,
so many pretty ones...
the little imprint of your body seemed to be
a perfect size for an angel.
A little trail of footprints
could be seen across the yard
as you loved to hear your boots make
crunching sounds in the snow.
you would catch snowflakes
falling from the sky,
with your red mittens,
and marvel at their delicate form.
How you loved discovering
new things about the world
as you continue to do today-
often times, even forging a new path...
and leaving new footprints for others to follow.