Many people have asked me for a copy of the poem that I read at the conference about my daughter when she was sixteen. Here it is.
I push and you resist
I drag and you pull back
I scold and you lose heart
I nag and you keep silent
I demand and you ignore
I am distracted and you seize the opportunity
To escape until I have forgotten
Why I was anxious about what it is
That you have failed to do.
I remember now.
You have forgotten to be perfect.
May you never remember!
I let go and you come around for a visit.
I retreat and you seek me out
To share the triumphs and outrageous fortune of your day
I share and you listen politely, if briefly
Ever cautions in case a lecture lies in wait.
I smile and you hug me and I try not to check you over to see if you washed behind your ears.
You see through me though
But somehow we avoid a battle
Content to retreat to bed and so
Avoid another skirmish in the war to grow up.