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About the Poem

This poem was inspired after a lengthy phone call with my sister, lovingly listening to her stories about her son's teenage antics and the frustrations of trying to understand the "teenage mind". It prompted me to pick up the pen and write this "apology to our parents" from my sister's point of view. My resulting scribble was then tucked away in a drawer as I felt that, without children of my own, perhaps I'd over-stepped my bounds a little. However, after dusting it off and reading it to my husband, he encouraged me to send it on to the family, saying "You don't have to "have" kids to understand them, you only have to have "been one" yourself. I'm pleased to say that I took his advice, and it was warmly received by all. Life truly comes "full circle".

Ode To A Teenager

I think I shall begin to say
A heartfelt and sincere,
Apology to my dear folks
To whom I hold so dear.

You see, I am much older now,
And have kids of my own,
And never did I think I’d reap
The seed that I have sown.

I flashback to my younger years,
And struggle to recall,
The innocence that I portrayed,
... For truly, after all ...

I’m sure I wasn’t ever bad,
Or nasty or talked back ...
I was an angel ... wasn’t I?
I never caused much flak.

I think that’s right (it’s years ago),
And memories, they can dim;
But was I not the perfect child
Who obeyed your every whim?

I think that’s stretching truths a bit;
I surely had my days,
... But does that really justify
My own child’s errant ways?

What happened to my loving child?
The one who did no wrong?
The one I cuddled up at night,
And sang his favorite song.

You are my sunshine one minute
... My storm the moment next;
I want to punish you at times,
And yet, I have regrets.

For I was not a perfect child,
I think I’ll now admit;
And teenage years are difficult
For those enduring it.

What I must keep in mind is this...
I’ve taught you with my heart;
And we’ve had many loving years,
Our hard days ne’er shall part.

For through the ups and downs .. the swings
Between young child and man,
I’ll keep in mind that this is just
A part of life’s strange plan.

To let you grow I have to try
To take it daily now ...
For you are like a baby bird
Who’s learning how to fly.

You’ll test your wings (and this I know)
To see how far to push, ...
Before I put my foot down
... And bring you down to earth.

Now all I ask, is work with me;
We’ll butt heads for a while;
But just remember ... I’m the one
Who goes the extra mile.

I pay the bills ... I mop the floors ...
I drive you here and there ...
But truly there are times when
I just sit back in despair.

I’m only human ... nothing more,
And I’ve been where you’re at ...
Believe me when I truly say
I’ve been there and done that.

So if that’s true, you’d think that I
Would have a lesson learned,
And wouldn’t fret or feel so hurt
In times that you do turn...

In to a quite unruly child,
A man I do not know ...
But I will hold on to my heart,
For this fact I do know.

And that is simple, pure and clear,
You’re still my loving child ...
You simply have a stash of masks,
For time’s you’re in disguise.

So anytime I see a mask,
I’ll try my best to see ...
That handsome, loving, caring child
Who’s true face is beneath.

For I don’t think you mean to say
The things you sometimes do;
It’s in those times, my loving child,
I’ll point this out to you.

For I do love you, but I’ve learned
My lessons in this life;
It’s your turn now, so listen up ...
We need to ease this strife.

So how ‘bout this, my dear young man,
The next time that you shout
Instead of arguing with me ...
Look in my eyes of doubt.

And search to find those memories
Of the mother you still love;
Reach out to me and talk it through ...
And seal it with a hug.
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© 1999 Kit McCallum Please respect the rights of the author and Passions in Poetry. If you would like to use this poem on your own web page, please contact the Author. Thank you.

9 Visitor Comments

lolit
I just love your poem, my tears were falling while reading it because the message is true and I'm going to send this poem to my son.
Crystal
I'm still a teenager. I'm pretty sure my parents must feel this way. makes me feel kinda guilty.
Virginia
I want to thank you for this poem. It describes me and my son's relationship right now. He is 16 year old. Although, he is not into drugs (that I know of) or hanging out in the streets, becasue he come home immediately after school (I time him everyday). He is very disrespectful to me all of the time. He thinks I do not know anything, that at 39 (almost 40 in one month), he knows much more than I. He talks back to me all of the time. He and I constantly get into arguments, I mean everyday when he get home about anything and everything. I am a single mother and I have tried to raise this boy in church, which we go all the time. I have tried to teach him how to be a good person, get an education so that he can become a productive person in society, so when he has a family he can take care of them. He and I butt head on every end. I have told him that what he has sowed, he will surely reap with his own children; however he assures me he is not going to have any children for this reason. Your poem has given me some encourgement that maybe everything I have been trying teach, all of the hours I have spent talking, praying, crying, whopping and encourging some day will not be invain. Thank you very much for this poem it was for me!
alicia
I liked your poem it is all I want to say to my son and I do not know how.
Liz
I came across this poem during a great deal of pain I was enduring when my teenage son decided he wanted to leave home. This poem is one I will always hold dear to my heart and pass on to my son when the time is right. Maybe, it will shed some light on him and make him realize that being a parent is the hardest thing in life. Especially, when you love your child so much it hurts to watch him walk out the door not knowing what the future has install for him. I thank you for writing this poem and for giving me the opportunity to share it with the one who has control of my heart.
melli
I actually read this poem, three times today, I couldn't believe how much this felt exactly what I was going through, deffently printing it out for my two teenagers.
Marcia
Now that my children are 21, 23 and 25 They are doing the turn around that happens after teen strife. I sure wish I had this poem back in the day when they were all teenagers and life was hell. It would have given me some sanity. So interesting they are wonderful to me now. Thanks for sharing it with the world.
Carolyn
As the parent of a 17 yr old who is just now feeling her oats, I was very touched by this poem. I , too remember being a teen and agree that this is all one needs to know to understand. I will hand my daughter a copy. I only hope that she doesn't take my hand off with it!!!!
Louise
Very good. I printed it off to send to my daughter whose son is just entering his teenage years.

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