The Great Mess
Hard core advice for New Parents
The great mess of loving continues
With being a parent
The love power of being exploded into sparks by your child’s laugh
And your child’s cry —
To be drawn up to the heights
And thrown off the cliff
Following your kid there.
To stand under a tree
Wondering if you should have let that kid
Shimmy up that beast tree
And you standing there like an idiot
Trying not to let on you are there to catch him
If he falls.
You thought you were a fool for love before children?
The folly of all our planning
And that ridiculous notion:
There is no test to be a parent.
Sure, but you will find that parenting
Is not that neat set of sophisticated strategies
The books you are getting as gifts
Or maybe the ones you are buying yourselves
Will tell you.
It’s a mess being a parent
It’s a mess being a life
A mess being a people of generations
A mess trying to bring down to your kid
Something that you should have discerned
Out of the great mess of your life
And the greater messes of your parents’ lives —
They knew no more than you know
And you know
All wisdom begins with the great nothing
To recognize that the mystery has shattered all sense
Of what you think you know
And now you are cracked open to whatever
God or nature or whatever it is you believe in
Will teach you.
This is the beginning of wisdom: I don’t know a darn thing.
Now begins your education.
Listen to your kid and she will tell you what she requires of you —
Only to be larger than yourself
To move beyond your perimeter
To release what you think you know
To split your skin open
And live in God.
Welcome to the world
By the way,
The world’s a mess too
And we all believe you are going to do something about it.