Poem and Parenthood

Washing out the brushes,

I am becoming woman.

Wearing out the pipes,

You became an eagle.

For it was in the 17 years that we left her

that she re-formed her keenest ears.

Melting into muses, confiscating silence.

Learned the notes by heart and spoke them

to our minds, an inner wish.

A chain of lignified anguish;

Came with rearing your children

Amiss, we dared to let them live.


An honorable human relationship is a process delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.’


I wrote this poem and only afterwards realised it was about my parents and how they raised me, how they went hard with me, let me find my way. I think they did this to a certain extent with all their children. It is an ‘honourable’ and difficult thing to do. I am still grateful.

Since becoming pregnant I have mused much more than ever before. What were once distant memories of my years growing up have been re-ignited , with 3 brothers and two quite enlightened, ‘hippy’  parents.

One night when I was very young, I wasn’t feeling so well, I was anxious, nauseous lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. I remember thinking how will I get through this, yet knowing I had to stay in bed. (I sometimes still wake up now during the night, not feeling sick just for a little think or to write). I looked to the light that had been left on in the hallway to make me feel safe.

My older brother (by 7 years) was going down the stairs and I called to him to tell him how I felt. He let me in on a big secret – if I just raise my pillow a little bit and tuck my chin in so my head is slightly tilted I will feel much better. He fixed it around my head for me and I instantly felt better. I was so happy with this discovery that my brother had imparted to me and obviously never really forgot it.

The love that grows in a house that a parent doesn’t even know about can be magical. Not only this but the love fostered by two people/parents that love each other can raise the roof.

I am reading parenting books and wondering about ‘co-sleeping’, ‘feeding on demand’, letting babies ‘cry it out’, ‘baby led weaning’ and I wonder will I be good enough?

Will I know when to do the right thing at the right time? And then I remember the love that exists between David and I.  We can make all these choices now in good faith, but it will come down to how we already live and love with one another. In that I trust.


  1. Michelle

    You two will be amazing parents and it will be all come naturally x

    • avondaleretreat

      Thanks for your kind words Michelle. I really hope you are right. You make it look so easy. xx

  2. Ann-Marie

    Oh wow! I love that picture of the three of you!

    • avondaleretreat

      Haha Thanks Ann-Marie. Loving this feeling.

  3. Hayley

    Ah parenting books… Use them to prop up the furniture. You got this…☺️

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