For Thomas (On the Occasion of His Tenth Birthday)

Often you say to me, “I can’t believe you’re my mom.”
I choose to take this as a compliment.

Often I say to you, ” Please stop acting like an almost 10-year-old.”
I insist you take this as a compliment.

When I think of life a decade ago,
I wince at all my oozing pridefulness.

When you think of life a decade from now,
I pray you shine at all your humble grace.

Lessons from the Baby Guru (I)

Flecks of black dirt dot
the skin beneath his bottom lip
as he holds aloft
the pink geranium,
by the blooms,
its white ceramic pot
nearly empty on the cement step.
He is proud: “Look!”

How many times have I grabbed a moment
by its bloom and yanked it
straight up and out of its cozy place,
letting the roots dangle in the air,
leaving the pot nearly empty
and feeling prideful: “See,