Being Present


Written for Prompt: Attention


For the first 20 years of my life, I lived with my parents and married three weeks following my 20th birthday. It was a freedom for me to leave my parents home with my new husband. In my parents’ home the less I spoke and kept to myself, that was their preference. The times were hard for them. Dad was in the Marines, this was 1943, Mom gave birth to a girl, me.  They never taught me how to do anything. They avoided me, mostly criticized me.  I had a good Guarding Angel on my shoulder; I did prosper on my own. By the age of 23, I had two beautiful children of my own. My parents’ pattern of behaviour crept in as my own. It was what I remembered about taking care of children. Luckily, I had a husband who had been cared for with tenderness and belonging. He taught me, “by his attitude and behaviour”, how to love and enjoy my two darling toddlers. It was then that I made a promise to myself: “to never treat my children as it had been done to me”. Today my own children say to me that I was the best mother in the world. Their friends loved to come over to our house for meals and sleepovers because it was fun at “our” place. My daughter tells me: “I don’t know how you did it Mom; you always had supper on the table for us, every night, night after night”. Both my children often reminisce on all the good times they had in their childhood, praising us as parents.
Today my daughter has a remarkable relationship with her own child. It warms my heart to feel the love they both have for each other.

A Cinquain poem
Being Present

Swiftly vanish
Requisite attention
Soft-hearted communication

Hélène Vaillant©




27 thoughts on “Being Present

  1. Being a different parent than the one you had requires such vigilance. I had the same type of experience and found it similar to “rewiring” the brain. My brain, that is. To not always do just the opposite, but also going down a completely different path. As difficult as it may have been. To date it’s been the hardest thing I ever did. And I agree — seeing my daughter and her child so close and loving – just wonderful. They do grow up so fast. Your story is beautifully written. And your poem as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Re-Focusing Attention – One Woman's Quest II

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