When I Grow Up

When I was an embryo, wrinkled and wet,
God knew I would need all the help I could get.
In His infinite wisdom, He knew you would be
the world’s only mother who’d put up with me.

As you proudly bedecked me in ruffles and curls,
I took it for granted that all little girls
had a mother as tender and loving as you
and that someday I’d grow up to be like that too.

If I’d paid more attention when you spoke the truth
I might have been spared the mistakes of my youth,
but I lived through the foolish decisions I made
by having a mother who trusted and prayed.

There are many enigmas I’ve wondered about,
but one thing I’ve never had reason to doubt:
Whether I ever found fortune or fame,
I knew that my Mama would love me the same.

At times when my strength has been put to the test,
I’ve wished for your patience, so simply expressed
in my own little girl’s declaration of fact:
“When I smile at Grandma, she always smiles back!”

But now that I’m older, I’ve grown more reflective,
viewing the world through a softer perspective;
peaceful in having my heart reconciled
with the values you taught me when I was a child.

I know there are heights I can never attain,
but one aspiration will always remain:
As I seek to interpret my role in life’s drama,
I still want to grow up to be like my Mama.

Reminders of you give me cause to rejoice —
you’re my mother by birth and my best friend by choice.
If my heart’s deepest longing should ever come true,
my children will love me the way I love you.



1991 Mary Boren
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