Calming Brag

He’s reading now
and bike-riding on two wheels, too.
He’s jumping off diving boards
into the deep ends of pools,
and writing me love notes
for no reason at all.

He has friends now
and a sense of humor.
He’s on the traveling team
(that’s what we wanted, right?)
and he’s going to a wonderful university
that is neither
too close nor too far
from me.

He’s with a girl now,
whom we like,
and it’s looking serious,
from what I can see.

He’s surpassing all of the milestones –
do you see? –
and so I’d like to brag.

But, deep down I know
that the only milestones that really matter
are, of course,
not milestones at all:
Is he happy?
Is he secure?
Is he kind?
Does he feel loved?
I will answer “yes”
because I believe it is so,
but I’ll never know
for sure
that happiness
and security
and kindness
and feeling loved
will stay with him,
even when I’m not,
forever and ever.

We brag
to create a world
where all is ok for them
and all will be ok for them
forever and ever.

We brag
to believe
that we can check
those milestones that aren’t
off the list
just the same as
and bike-riding
and swimming
and writing.

Because then, surely then,
we mothers
can sleep soundly
forever and ever.


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