About the Poem
This poem was inspired after a lengthy phone call with my sister, lovingly listening to her stories about her son's teenage antics and the frustrations of trying to understand the "teenage mind". It prompted me to pick up the pen and write this "apology to our parents" from my sister's point of view. My resulting scribble was then tucked away in a drawer as I felt that, without children of my own, perhaps I'd over-stepped my bounds a little. However, after dusting it off and reading it to my husband, he encouraged me to send it on to the family, saying "You don't have to "have" kids to understand them, you only have to have "been one" yourself. I'm pleased to say that I took his advice, and it was warmly received by all. Life truly comes "full circle".
Ode To A Teenager
|by Kit McCallum|
|I think I shall begin to say
A heartfelt and sincere,
Apology to my dear folks
To whom I hold so dear.
You see, I am much older now,
And have kids of my own,
And never did I think I’d reap
The seed that I have sown.
I flashback to my younger years,
And struggle to recall,
The innocence that I portrayed,
... For truly, after all ...
I’m sure I wasn’t ever bad,
Or nasty or talked back ...
I was an angel ... wasn’t I?
I never caused much flak.
I think that’s right (it’s years ago),
And memories, they can dim;
But was I not the perfect child
Who obeyed your every whim?
I think that’s stretching truths a bit;
I surely had my days,
... But does that really justify
My own child’s errant ways?
What happened to my loving child?
The one who did no wrong?
The one I cuddled up at night,
And sang his favorite song.
You are my sunshine one minute
... My storm the moment next;
I want to punish you at times,
And yet, I have regrets.
For I was not a perfect child,
I think I’ll now admit;
And teenage years are difficult
For those enduring it.
What I must keep in mind is this...
I’ve taught you with my heart;
And we’ve had many loving years,
Our hard days ne’er shall part.
For through the ups and downs .. the swings
Between young child and man,
I’ll keep in mind that this is just
A part of life’s strange plan.
To let you grow I have to try
To take it daily now ...
For you are like a baby bird
Who’s learning how to fly.
You’ll test your wings (and this I know)
To see how far to push, ...
Before I put my foot down
... And bring you down to earth.
Now all I ask, is work with me;
We’ll butt heads for a while;
But just remember ... I’m the one
Who goes the extra mile.
I pay the bills ... I mop the floors ...
I drive you here and there ...
But truly there are times when
I just sit back in despair.
I’m only human ... nothing more,
And I’ve been where you’re at ...
Believe me when I truly say
I’ve been there and done that.
So if that’s true, you’d think that I
Would have a lesson learned,
And wouldn’t fret or feel so hurt
In times that you do turn...
In to a quite unruly child,
A man I do not know ...
But I will hold on to my heart,
For this fact I do know.
And that is simple, pure and clear,
You’re still my loving child ...
You simply have a stash of masks,
For time’s you’re in disguise.
So anytime I see a mask,
I’ll try my best to see ...
That handsome, loving, caring child
Who’s true face is beneath.
For I don’t think you mean to say
The things you sometimes do;
It’s in those times, my loving child,
I’ll point this out to you.
For I do love you, but I’ve learned
My lessons in this life;
It’s your turn now, so listen up ...
We need to ease this strife.
So how ‘bout this, my dear young man,
The next time that you shout
Instead of arguing with me ...
Look in my eyes of doubt.
And search to find those memories
Of the mother you still love;
Reach out to me and talk it through ...
And seal it with a hug.