Only One Childhood

I stopped to watch my little girl
busy playing in her room.
In one hand was a plastic phone;
in the other a toy broom.

I listened as she was speaking
to her make believe little friend
and I’ll never forget the words she said,
even though it was pretend.

She said, “Suzie’s in the corner
cuz she’s not been very good.
She didn’t listen to a word I said
or do the things she should.”

In the corner I saw her baby doll
all dressed in lace and pink.
It was obvious she’d been put there
to sit alone and think.

My daughter continued her “conversation,”
as I sat down on the floor.
She said, “I’m all fed up I just don’t know
what to do with her anymore?

She whines whenever I have to work
and wants to play games, too;
she never lets me do the things
that I just have to do?

She tries to help me with the dishes,
but her arms just cannot reach
and she doesn’t know how to fold the towels
and I don’t have the time to teach.

I have a lot of work to do
and a big house to keep clean.
I don’t have the time to sit and play —
don’t you know what I mean?”

And that day I thought a lot about
making some changes in my life;
as I listened to her innocent words
that cut me like a knife.

I hadn’t been paying enough attention
to what I hold most dear.
I’d been caught up in responsibilities
that increased throughout the year.

But now my attitude has changed,
because, in my heart, I realize
I’ve seen the world in a different light
through my little darling’s eyes.

So, let the cobwebs have the corners
and the dustbunnies rule the floor,
I’m not going to worry about
keeping up with them anymore.

I’m going to fill the house with memories
of a child and her mother
for God grants us Only One Childhood,
and we will never get another.

(c) 1998 Linda Ellis All Rights Reserved

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