Raising a daughter

Being a parent is a whole lot of work. Beautiful work that pulls you in so many directions. I have been aware recently of how independent my kids are, how well their personalities are shaping and how one day I will no longer have the influence over them I have today. I want to do today what is best for each of them. Like every parent I worry is it enough? am I on the right path?

I have been thinking about 

raising a daughter

Raising a daughter
By Shona Cole

she is young
her smile easy
her long hair crumbly, in need of a brush
she is in costume today
there are pools of clothes all over the house
her putting on different faces
looking for her space, her season of self

I have labored long beneath her form
she will not hear me one day
so today I whisper ‘you are OK’
the stage is something silver,
bright but mean, a frozen pond
a long winter that wants our time
that stamps it’s foot when we falter

I am powerless
shaken, poured out

I wake each morning with
her name on my lips
I am scared for her
I pray, I pray
to my Father
‘Lord, let her glide graceful
to the self you planned,
let me see, let her be’

    now the desert
    dust of who I once was and
    nothing besides remains. *

* This line is from the great poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley. 


  1. Shona..this is lovely! You captured so beautifully that awe we mothers feel at the timeless responsibility we face to raise daughters who will be 'their beautful selves'..

    "like a flower blooming..
    day by day.." (from my poem about Rebekah) My daughter is 'raised' and it seems a miracle. She is on the precipice..heading out into life and though she isn't perfect..I know she is happy and ready. It is a wonderful feeling!

    The most important thing is to love and accept our children as they are and to have faith that the Lord is guiding them. I know you are doing that. :o) Your poem is so inspiring Shona! Thank you for that gift today.

    PS. I wrote really an essay about homemaking and our families..and slowing down. It's called "The Art of Fresh Linens" I thought you would like it and the photos too. I didn't edit them at ALL..they were all taken in the morning sunshine! I washed and air dried my grandmother's antique linens to prepare for dinner with Klaus... They smelled so good when I brought them in to iron..hence the post. :o)

    Tell Lily and Matthew that I thought they were wonderful at the review yesterday! I enjoyed their singing and juggling immensely!

  2. This is beautiful. It speaks to every mother, it connects to all women (we are all daughters if not mothers).

    As the mother of a very young daughter, these days of independence seem so far. But I know they will be here too soon. Even now I see little glimpses of the strong willed, defiant young woman she might be (probably will be).

    But she still looks to me for guidance, and I try my hardest to instill trust and confidence in her. I hope she will keep that trust in me, even when we disagree, and that she will be confident of herself as she gets older.

    I am still very much at the laboring beneath her form point...

    Thank you Shona, this is lovely.

  3. Beautifully written, Shona. Independence comes far too quickly; so we must seize the moment while the moment is ours.

  4. daughters ... sigh ... beautiful words Shona that capture the awe and tender worry for our girls ... that my daughter might "glide graceful" is my heartfelt wish. i see her now, so confident, so fearless and i pray she maintains connection to her core, to her truth and that her light never fades.

    Thank you for the lovely comment you posted on my blog ... I know I am grateful for your inspiration and companionship on this journey of parenting and creative flow. the two really do support and nurture each other ♥

    xo lis

  5. This is lovely. As a mother of three daughters, I understand oh so well. However, my oldest has Aspergers and my fear is she will always need me and won't thrive on her own. Pieces of me cherish this thought, as I don't want her to go. But, worry, I do!

  6. As a mother of one daughter (and two sons) I can immediately identify with this - its all sooooo true.

  7. Hi Shona,
    Your poetry really inspires me: it's eloquent, concise, and touching.
    One of my artistic goals for the new year is to write more poetry vs. the who? what? where? that is the norm on my scrapbook pages.
    Can you share some great poetry sites that inspire You?

  8. Hi Shona,
    I have had the privilege of raising four daughters. We are now reaping the benefits of them growing into smart, independent, and loving adults. It was worth going through the teen years when they each thought the sun revolved around them and that we were dumber than door posts!
    Thank you for your poem. It made me smile just thinking of my girls.


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