Riley is 9

 

Your bedroom floor is a battlefield
of board game figurines in a series of poses
from victorious to defeated. Littered nearby,
cascading down beside the bed,
are pages of writing fragments
blueprints and designs
that will one day “change the world”.

But it already is changed. Everyday.
Those “I am” and “I want” statements
of babyhood are fading away –
now you ask the questions
we adults have learned to forget,
and I find myself preparing for the years to come.

You still skip when you walk.
The other week, another mother pointed to you
as you went on ahead and said, “That boy is full of life”.

Now you are nine
you are halfway to eighteen.
My breath catches at the thought.

Tonight I will tuck you in bed,
lean in for a kiss,
and turn out the light on the anniversary
of the day you joined the world that I’m sure
you’ll not only change
but transform.

sick boy

Riley skipping

riley

karen-portrait

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is On The Many Shapes Bodies Will Take (March, 2017).