Parenthood · Poetry

Bright Night

It’s a difficult thing to look into the sad eyes of your child each night, knowing that your kisses, songs, and stories weren’t quite enough to fill the void they feel for the other parent, who is not there.  My husband works away for weeks (sometimes months) at a time, so this is naturally a challenging reality for myself, and for our children.  Nights are usually a hard time for my kids, as the sum of his time gone seems to be felt strongest in the evenings.  His empty chair at suppertime.  The extra quietness in the house.  The chores take longer to finish, so there is less time for fun.  Bath time isn’t as exciting without him here to play.  All very subtle things, but to a little girl and little boy, they are all very powerful reminders that the person they love most is not there.  So, naturally, Mommy just wants to be able to say something that makes them feel better.  To remind them that their sadness is temporary, and Daddy loves them as much as they love him.  I wrote them a poem I could read them at night to help them understand that what they feel is okay, and that despite their loneliness, his love is all around them.

Bright Night

Milk in her tummy with teddy in tow

She climbs in her bed, little dolls in a row

“Mommy, let’s snuggle, and sing me a song!”

“First Mary, than Twinkle, I’ll hum all along!”

But a tear fills her eye, so heavy with ache

“Will my daddy be home before I wake?”

I miss him so much, Mommy, how can I sleep?

When I’ve wished on a star, and counted my sheep

I want him to play and give me a hug

Read me a story, and tuck me in snug

The wind is now cooler, the leaves are more red

It’s just been too long since he’s kissed my forehead

She crawled to her lap eyes pleading with hope

We could take a plane ride! We could sail on a boat!

Wherever he goes, I wanna go too

I just need to ask if he misses me too

Of course he does, Sweetie, just look all around

As the sun rises up, and the moon sinks down

The day starts with light full of promise and smiles

And ends with bright stars, they go on for miles

These reminders all day, and all night long too

Of his love overflowing so brightly for you

No matter the distance, no matter the time

You’ll be in his heart, and your face on his mind

“But what do I do, Mommy, when I feel sad?”

“What do I do when I start to get mad?”

It’s okay to feel sad, and okay to feel mad

It’s hard to miss Daddy and try to be glad

So focus each day on the fun things we do

We read, and we play, and get good rest too

Look up at the sky and smile to the stars

Each second I know he is proud you are ours

Now snuggle in warm and drift off to sleep

Put your worries away, only fondness to keep

To bring joy to tomorrow and all the days after

He’ll find his way home to the sound of your laughter.

Written by Afton Murphy – January 25, 2016

 

 

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