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Also see Little Girls, Watch Me Grow, Teenagers, Growing Up and Appearance.
(Laurie E. Dawson)
The little red rocker was just the right size
To rock her baby doll that had sleepy eyes;
She sang lullabies and crooned soft and low
To the land of sweet dreams where sleepy dolls go.
The little girl soon outgrew the red chair,
The years seemed to fly that we had to share;
Then one day she left for her home that was new
Leaving behind the sleepy doll too.
Years later at Christmas she came for a stay
To visit Grandmother and make her heart gay.
She brought her little girl who was bonny and fair
And just the right size for the red rocking chair.
Then grandmother came with the doll from the shelf
To place in her arms, so the lassie herself
Could sing lullabies and croon soft and low
To the land of sweet dreams where sleepy dolls go.
Life is fleeting, years rush past . . .
and little girls grow up so fast!
Let me take time out to be
glad that mine's still here with me.
And though I'm busy through the day,
let me take time out to play . . .
Let me take time out to smile,
to linger with her for a while . . .
To invite her under the table for tea
and dress up silly as can be.
Let me take time out to sing
and dance and skip
and twirl and swing . . .
To splash in puddles when it rains
and make her fancy daisy chains.
Let me take time out to hear
about the things that she holds dear.
Let me tuck her in at night,
hear her prayers, turn off the light.
And for one more moment let me pray
and thank God that we shared this day!
You have an iridescent quality;
Half woman and half child,
In subtle blend,
I watch your running, laughing gaiety,
And feel that now goes on
Without an end.
But when we talk together,
I can see,
From something in a gesture,
Tone, or look,
That very soon
That little girl will be
A group of snapshots,
Mounted in a book.
I remember when you were my little girl.
As much a part of me as my right arm;
My every breath and step held you in mind.
Then suddenly, one morning you were grown.
I was not finished with you.
But we must love our children enough to let them go.
But in my heart, You'll always be my little girl.
All the dreams I prayed you'd be
Are all the things you are.
You were once my little girl
And now my shining star.
(from "Sunrise, Sunset")
Are these the little girls I carried,
Are these my little ones at play:
I don't remember growing older,
When did they?
Wasn't it only yesterday
When they were small?
Sunrise, sunset, swiftly fly the years
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears
Mothers and Daughters
You can see it in their eyes
You can see it in their smiles
You can see it in their lives,
To care and to understand,
(© Herman Ross Fillingane)
As time will come and go
But as I long for wisdom
And nothing that I touch
When she was only nine months old,
And plump and round and pink of cheek,
A joy to tickle and to hold,
Before she'd even learned to speak,
Her gentle mother used to say:
"It is too bad that she must grow.
If I could only have my way
Her baby ways we'd always know."
And then the year was turned, and she
Began to toddle round the floor
And name the things that she could see
And soil the dresses that she wore.
Then many a night she whispered low:
"Our baby now is such a pearl (or joy)
I hate to think that she must grow
To be a wild and heedless girl." (or boy)
But on she went and sweeter grew,
And then her mother, I recall,
Wished she could keep her always two,
For that's the finest age of all.
She thought the same thing at three,
And now that she is four, she sighs
To think she cannot always be
The youngster with the laughing eyes.
Oh, little girl, my wish is not
Always to keep you four years old.
Each night I stand beside your cot
And think of what the years may hold;
And looking down on you I pray
That when we've lost our baby small,
The mother of our woman will say
"This is the finest age of all."
( Phyllis McGinley)
Where are the ribbons I tie my hair with?
Where is my lipstick? Where are my hose--
The sheer ones hoarded these weeks to wear with
Frocks the closets do not disclose?
Perfumes, petticoats, sports chapeaus,
The blouse Parisian, the earrings Spanish--
Everything suddenly up and goes.
And where in the world did the children vanish?
This is the house I used to share with
Girls in pinafores, shier than does.
I can recall how they climbed my stairs with
Gales of giggles on their tiptoes.
Last seen wearing both braids and bows
(And looking rather Raggedy-Annish),
When they departed nobody knows--
Where in the world did the children vanish?
Two tall strangers, now I must bear with,
Decked in my personal furbelows,
Raiding the larder, rending the air with
Gossip and terrible radios.
Neither my friends nor quite my foes,
Alien, beautiful, stern and clannish,
Here they dwell, while the wonder grows:
Where in the world did the children vanish?
Prince, I warn you, under the rose,
Time is the thief you cannot banish.
These are my daughters, I suppose.
But where in the world did the children vanish?
(Neva P. Botsford)
Girls are made up of a number of ingredients. The delightful ones are engraved in the hearts of adoring fathers, and the others remind Mom of when she was their age!
First of all, girls are experts at getting things done. They talk Mom into making a skirt for some special activity that falls due the day after tomorrow. They talk Dad into taking them, and a few friends, most any place at most any time. And they can, on occasion, clean their room neat as a pin, provided the occasion has something to do with a slumber party.
Girls are particularly thoughtful of parents. Not wanting them to be bored, they are constantly thinking up interesting things for them to do, such as going along to a Camp Fire picnic, chaperoning a school dance and all sorts of fun projects.
Girls are very good about volunteering. When there is a call for refreshments, daughters are quick to volunteer, "My mother will bake cookies;" or if they need transportation, "My dad will drive;" And she is quick to suggest, "You can meet at MY house."
Girls grow up quickly. One day they are far too young to assume the responsibility for cleaning the house and the next day they are plenty old enough to wear nylons. Yesterday you had to remind them to wash their hands for dinner, and the next day they are spending hours putting up their hair and experimenting with makeup. The especially pursue these projects when it is time to set the table or wash dishes.
Girls can spot their allowance as they walk in the door, but seldom see the dirty socks under the bed until after washday. They hear the radio only on loud volume and especially like the sound of the telephone ringing.
Girls live by the clock, supplemented by notations on a calendar, and are usually on their way to somewhere or due back in just a minute.
Wee girls are cuddly. Kindergarten girls like to sit on Dad's lap while he reads her the funnies. Teenage girls like to talk a lot about such IMPORTANT things and wish they were older. Married daughters try to cook like Mother and wonder if they were ever as silly as their own daughters.
Daughters are very special people. They can twist a very stern businessman into a normal submissive father, and give Mom hope in a future generation that will raise daughters just as she did.
She can cook like the best chef around . . .
drive all over city and town,
looking for just the right evening gown.
She had the best kiss on my knees.
Oh, what a Mom--she can be.
She could do everything from ABC's--
to stupid old trigonometry.
She has the best laugh in the land.
And oh, how could you not notice, the strength of her hands?
She could run interference better than any attorney around.
And never ever, did she let me down.
She taught me the right and wrongs of eye shadow.
And there were times, she said yes, but really meant NO.
Oh what a Mom, she can be--
On prom night, I saw the little tear--
and the sparkle as she said 'be careful, you are a woman, dear'.
Then on graduation- there she was--
front row seat, I knew she would.
There was that tear, once more.
Congratulations, 'you are a woman, dear'.
Ahh, the day I come down the aisle.
The first thing I saw, was my Mom's smile.
Oh, and there was that tiny little tear . . .
Best Wishes, ' you are a MRS. dear'.
The night the pain came . . .
I was all afraid, she run to my side--
held my hand. Hold me tight dear,
Mom is right here.
In a few hours, it will be over and gone.
And you will be holding a hand of your own.
The pain went away, as they said, 'here is your baby girl'.
I looked at my Mom, and saw that tear,
this time was different . . .
She brushed back my hair, and said 'what is this dear?'
I said 'oh Mom, I have it too, that special Mommy tear'.
I am lucky Mom, I got it from you.
In the top drawer of her dresser is one pair of little shoes
And a pair of little booties from which her Mom can choose.
Although she cannot walk just yet, out with her mom she goes
For strolls in different shades of pink from her head down to her toes.
But soon the little newborn has to a toddler grown;
In patent-leather party shoes she's walking all alone.
But someone's watching closely as she takes each shaky stride,
And though she may not notice it, her mom is at her side.
The nursery's now a bedroom, the baby's crib is gone,
The little girl is off to school with brand-new sneakers on.
She skips onto the school yard with a step as light as air,
While mom, though smiling bravely, feels at loose ends standing there.
The little girl grows older, and with each passing year,
Her first high-heels and cowgirl boots eventually appear.
And then, as if by magic, the little girl is grown,
She wears the latest fashions bought with earnings of her own.
Then one fine day she's walking with her father at her side,
In shoes of fine white satin, for now she is a bride.
I wonder where the time has gone, and wistfully recall
My little girl, in little shoes, so innocent and small.
And now I am a Granny, and Daughter, you're a Mom,
Your little newborn daughter is the sunshine of your home.
The top drawer of her dresser is filled with little shoes,
And many pairs of booties from which you now can choose.
Cherish each passing moment, the laughter and the tears,
For days go by so swiftly, and gather soon to years.
The little shoes she will outgrow before you realize,
She'll blossom like a summer's rose, before your very eyes.
Be always there to walk with her when up against the odds,
Make sure she knows that she can count on mother and on God.
And though she'll spread her wings and fly, as all our daughters do,
One day she'll wear a mothers shoes, and she'll come home to you.
I remember when I was a child, you called me your baby girl--
golden hair in pony tails, melted chocolate on my fingers--
and I remember all the questions that I would ask you,
Daddy, can you teach me to count to 10?
Daddy, can you tie my shoes again?
Can I have a tea party, Daddy? Will you read to me when we are through? ..
and you would smile and loosen your tie, and set your work aside.
I remember your dark hair, and how your eyes would shine at me lovingly--
you would teach me to count, and to tie my shoes,
we would have a tea party, and then you would sit in a chair and read to me.
And as the years danced by, I grew to be a young woman
on my graduation day, you sat proudly in the stands,
and later, you answered the questions I asked of you,
Dad, can you help me with my resume?
Dad, can you help me with my report?
Can you make it to my party, Dad? I have someone I would like to introduce you to
. . . and you set your things aside, and we would stay up late, with a pen and paper,
you would help me with my report and with my resume--
your black hair now streaked with gray,
eyes still glowing-and you came to my party to meet my friend, after you worked all day.
As the time passed by, my success and career grew strong--
we always made time to see one another. I remember the visit when I told you,
and had questions about my wedding day,
Dad, honestly, how do I look in my dress?
Will you walk with me down the aisle, Dad?
When it is time, will you give me away?
. . . and you set your dreams aside, and just smiled at my dress,
and you gave me a beautiful wedding day. And you walked with me
down the aisle, and when it came time-you cried and gave me away.
And now with a husband, we have a daughter,
she calls him daddy and asks questions like you and I.
But even though she looks to us for all the answers in the world,
I have questions you still answer happily,
Dad, can you baby-sit your grand-daughter?
Dad, can you help my husband fix the house?
Can you teach me, Dad, to be everything to my child-like you have been to me?
.. and you set your things aside, and you watched your grand-daughter, and
you helped my husband fix our house, all unconditionally
.. and you said as far as being a good parent,
just to love my child, the rest will all come naturally.
Now with my daughter at school, and my husband at work,
I visit you often, your hair is white and face is lined, your eyes are heavy
and now you have so many questions to ask of me . . .
Baby girl, can you read me a book?
Baby girl, can you tie my shoes and go for a walk?
Can you boil some water and help me pour my tea?
. . . so I set my things aside and as the water boils,
I sit in the chair reading to you while we wait to drink the tea
. . . and in the evening, I'll tie your tie the way you like it . . .
and then I will tie both of your shoes . . .
and I will tie them . . . the way you taught me.
For poems about a daughter getting married see Here Comes the Bride.
For My Beautiful Daughter
(Susan Polis Schutz)
I looked at you today
I looked at you today
It was not long ago
I looked at you today
Every day is exciting
Blind with love, my daughter
has cried nightly for horses,
those long necked marchers and churners
that she has mastered, any and all,
reining them in like a circus hand--
the excitable muscles and the ripe neck--
tending, this summer, a pony and a foal.
She who is squeamish to pull
a thorn from the dog's paw
watched the pony blossom with distemper,
the underside of the jaw swelling
like an enormous grape,
Gritting her teeth with love,
she drained the boil and scoured it
with hydrogen peroxide until pus
ran like milk on the barn floor.
Blind with loss all winter,
in dungarees, a ski jacket, and a hard hat,
she visits the neighbors' stables,
our acreage not zoned for barns,
they who own the flaming horses
and the swan-necked thoroughbred
that she tugs at and cajoles,
thinking it will burn like a furnace
under her small-hipped English seat.
Blind with pain, she limps home;
The thoroughbred has stood on her foot.
He rested there like a building;
He grew into her foot until they were one.
The marks of the horseshoe printed
into her flesh, the tips of her toes
ripped off like pieces of leather,
three toenails swirled like shells
and left to float in blood in her riding boot.
Blind with fear, she sits on the toilet,
her foot balanced over the washbasin,
her father, hydrogen peroxide in hand,
performing the rites of the cleansing.
She bites on a towel, sucked in breath,
sucked in and arched against the pain,
her eyes glancing off me where
I stand at the door, eyes locked
on the ceiling, eyes of and stranger,
And then she cries . . .
Oh! My god, Help me!
Where a child would have cried "Mama!"
Where a child would have believed "Mama!"
She bit the towel and called on God,
And I saw her life, stretch out . . .
I saw her torn in childbirth,
And I saw her, at that moment,
in her own death,
And I knew that she knew.
(Many of these are not about children but make good page toppers.)