Poems on Motherhood

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:1

Motherhood is such a mix of blessing and labor. Mundane and ineffable moments are all wrapped up together in this daily grind and daily magic. And how easy it is to lose sight of the magic midst the grind! I wanted to share these two unpolished poems of mine which help me to focus on the bigger picture, and the gift it all is. 

Dimpled legs as you stretch
on tiptoe to the bowl placed carefully out of reach 
of your curious cocked finger. 
Your chortle, a babble of indiscernible gifts, erupt around
your two-toothed smile, 
and then you turn to me, and raise your hug-soft arms 
And your need is the easiest wish I ever could fulfill as I 
scoop you up to my chest and 
for a moment
your sweet-warm head rests beneath my face and I breathe in
And then you are wriggling down, away from me, to a ball, a cup, a block:
any of the undiscovered joys of today.

And I watch your supple body squat and crawl and stand and grab and reach. 
There is such impossible perfection in your tiny form. 
And I can only wonder that it is given to me–
this stumbling, seeking, striving me–
to witness
your being. 

I Said a Prayer Today 
I said a prayer today 
as I stroked the sick head of my first baby 
lying listless on the couch, 
her eyes watching me with solemn trust 
as her younger brother chattered at me from the kitchen 
certain that I can see and know and fix,
because I am 
All while their baby sister nuzzles warm head into my lap with small giggling grunts 
as if to burrow her whole being into mine. 
Lord, I pray, 
help me to catch these moments 
that are dropped 
as Gold
into my lap

If only I notice. 

“An atmosphere of innocence flows into little children, and through them into the parents so as to affect them… Little children have this innocence, because they do not think from anything interior; for they do not yet know what is good and evil, and true and false, so as to think in accordance with them. Therefore they do not have any prudence of their own, nor any design from a deliberate motive, thus are without any purpose for evil. They do not have a character acquired from love of self and the world. They do not credit anything to themselves. All that they receive they attribute to their parents. They are content with the little things they are given as gifts. They do not worry about their food and clothing, and are not anxious about the future. They do not pay regard to the world and covet many things on account of it. They love their parents, their nursemaids, and their little companions, and play with them in a state of innocence. They allow themselves to be guided; they listen and obey.
Such is the innocence of early childhood, which occasions the love called storge.” (Married Love 395)

About Tania Alden

Tania is a wife, mother and watercolour painter (when she has the time and brain space). She currently lives in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania but holds a special place in her heart for Westville, South Africa where she grew up. She and husband Micah are delighted and exhausted parents to three young children. As the daughter of a minister, married to the son of a minister, New Church ideas have always formed a central and important part of Tania’s family life, but now as a mother, finding ways to communicate and teach these values to young children has given them a new meaning and power. And it is exciting, and daunting, to know that the journey of spiritual understanding is just barely beginning!

4 thoughts on “Poems on Motherhood

  1. Your poems gave me such a warmth and made me smile and catapulted me back in time. The wonder of that trust put in you! It makes we grown ups try harder. I see how we are all lead this way by the Lord. Very beautiful. And that quote you shared knocked me over the head like I’d never read it before. Right—they know nothing of good or evil but what we teach them. Sacred job. (Mixed in with wiping the floor.)

  2. Utterly precious, Tania. We parents of now-adult children SO appreciate these reminders. Affirmation of the most important work a married couple does together.

  3. Tania dear, these resonate deeply with warm and humble truth and honest observation of these precious moments. Thank you so so much for sharing these!

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