A Note To My Children – by Judith Staff
I swear far too freely
But you mustn’t, you know those words are only for adults
I love my phone so much, I sleep with it
But you mustn’t, don’t be a slave to it and let it rule your days
I have a coffee & a handful of Skittles, and call it ‘lunch’
But you mustn’t, snack on your fruit, have the sandwiches, finish your crusts
I secretly re-fold the towels your Dad folds; he never does it right
But you mustn’t, in future accept your partner folds laundry differently. It’s okay.
I workout every single day, even if I’m injured. Even if I’m exhausted.
But you mustn’t, you need to exercise but you need to listen to your body, too
I strive incessantly for perfection, and always feel like I could do better
But you mustn’t, value what you achieve and don’t be afraid to celebrate it
I look in the mirror and speak terribly unkind words
But you mustn’t, love the self you see, seek beauty in your individuality always
I keep my tears under lock and key, your Grandad says “Crying solves nothing”
But you mustn’t, let yourself cry and believe it only strengthens you
I see those around me in different spaces and I want to be where they are
But you mustn’t, we’re all where we are because we own our journeys; own yours
I have written this for you, my gorgeous children
But you don’t listen to me.
And maybe I am talking to myself.