love this girl

April 30th, 2010

she levered into my lap
spilling over the overstuffed rocker
the old nest in the bend of my elbow
I had a rough day
I had a rough day

a catastrophe of words
spare can mean reserved or saved
I didn’t know
I didn’t know

I was so frustrated
Erased hard and tore a hole
in the multiple choices
her friends whispered into palms
my life is pointless
my life is pointless

the exaggeration scares her short
is the plural hyperboles?
she stretches the length
of her tiny big girl bed
head propped on a dingy pink unicorn
I see the sunrise and moonglow in her face
the bloom and the night
and I think to myself
Love this girl

A tribute to being 10.


  1. Awesome. Our son is five. Half-way to ten and sometimes it seems like he’s 20.

    Comment by J. Andy Lambert — April 30, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  2. Karen, I love this! There are no better words to describe it.

    Comment by Laura — April 30, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  3. You’ve done a perfect job of describing a day we had last week. Thank you for putting it into far more graceful words than I ever could.

    Comment by Kelly Hudgins — April 30, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  4. He is 20, Andy. You can be sure he is 2,020.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — April 30, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  5. Reading this on your new site I find myself wondering if you still find Cheerios in your house hold. In our house, my daughter now cooks her own egg for breakfast and will eat eggs I make only if I follow her directions. No Cheerios, not even under the car cushions. But still the same road.

    Comment by Chris — April 30, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

  6. Not often, Chris. My husband eats Toasted Os from Trader Joes, but Georgia will only eat cheerios that are Cheerios. Same road.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — April 30, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  7. Love this – reminds me of my daughter and the pure moment-to-moment joy that it is. So lucky!

    Comment by Mike — April 30, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  8. I remember being 10 so clearly. And I remember having a mom that made me feel all better when I had a rough day. I absolutely love the line bout seeing the sunrise and moonglow in her face. <3

    Comment by Erin — April 30, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  9. Beautiful.

    Comment by Meg — April 30, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

  10. While I slept, she wrote this!
    and I know its true.

    Comment by Ed — May 1, 2010 @ 4:26 am

  11. As bittersweet as key lime pie.

    Comment by Kaishu — May 1, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  12. Ah, she’s in your lap, talking to you, trusting that place that you can offer. Enjoy that while you can! My own son, 17, let me know last week that he doesn’t need to discuss his life with me anymore, as there are plenty of other people whose feedback he finds more useful. Love that boy, too, but it’s harder.

    Comment by Katrina Kenison — May 2, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  13. Please give her a hug for me. 🙂 She is so lovable.

    Comment by Kathryn — May 3, 2010 @ 2:38 am

  14. Thank you for your words. I have a 17 month old and a two week old. Both are beautiful little girls. I am so grateful to be there for them on their good and bad days.

    Comment by emily — May 3, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  15. Reminds me of everyday I have with my little one. Thanks for such a beautiful poem!

    Comment by Katie — May 5, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

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