Being an ideas person I am always scribbling things down when I get flashes of inspiration and I squirrel them away in files, boxes or on my computer. In doing research for one my new books I emptied out an old paper box of notes and found an unpublished handwritten poem I had penned some years ago on a seriously crinkled piece of paper torn from a notebook.
From my youngest son’s crayon scribbles on the back of the page, I am guessing I wrote this poem when Ryan was 8 and Matthew was 4. Now that my boys are 18 and 14 respectively I look back and realise that the promises from my heart, contained in this poem, have very much been the blueprint for my parenting journey — not picture-perfect, but a very real human experience that has touched, challenged and grown me as a person.
A PROMISE TO MY CHILD
By Nikki Bush
I promise to feed you, clothe you and put a roof over your head,
Although, this may vary in quality and quantity from time-to-time.
I promise to teach you to be resilient and resourceful,
So that you can succeed and thrive no matter what life may throw at you.
I can’t promise you that you won’t get hurt by life,
And that horrible things will never happen.
But, I do promise you that as long as I am alive,
I will love you and be there for you.
I promise to shower you with unconditional love and encouragement,
And to hold the space for you to become, well, YOU!
I promise to help you to discover your unique talents and gifts.
And I look forward to hearing the verse you will create and one day sing.
I promise you that you will have good and bad moments,
But life may surprise you.
I promise that as you grow and gain perspective, what might initially seem negative,
May well be the best gift of all to help you to a better life.
I promise to keep growing and working on myself.
It’s not your job to make me happy, it’s mine.
You have helped me to discover more about me,
About parts of myself I have never seen or met before.
You create an invitation for me to dance with life,
And when you ask me to dance,
My answer is a resounding “Yes!”, and, “Thank you!”
For the personal adventures you bring to me every, single day.
I promise you a place at my table, always,
Regardless of your choices.
When you were born, you were a precious gift from Life,
But you are also a gift to Life.
As your parent,
I promise to honour you and protect you,
And when the time is right, to let you go,
So that you can take flight and make a dent in the Universe.
You will forever be in my heart,
One that is so enriched by your being in the world.
I love you my precious child.
May you be inspired and encouraged on your parenting journey.