parenting by powerpoint

17 Mar

Everyday bad things happen, so-

I’ve drawn you a flow chart

to take you from point a to z

with arrows to the short cuts

so roughly won by me.

Let me help you jump over ditches

and avoid the dead-end streets.

Watch my greatest hits of

heartache, thought addiction, faux pas, shame, fear, regret,

so you can save yourself the trouble.

Look, simply, I can help you

avoid the ramifications of not heeding good advice.

I didn’t even know I had it in me, as non-linear as I can be,

to map it out for you, but I did;  I’ve a crash course on not crashing.

But I’m being asked another task, much different than what I’ve done.

The night now asks me to have a courage I don’t know how to muster –

I’m now to be the watcher and not the player and not the coach.

I’m now to calm my plotting mind.

I’m instructed not to imagine trains flying off of their tracks

even while I feel the lurch and screech

of the metal momentum – see sparking in the air.

I’m to observe as boats sink, as elevators release and fall,

as villains creep most uncartoon-like in dark shadows when you pass by;

who orchestrates such visions – where are the views of nature walks, of laughter,

of joy?   Why the fear, why the wrecks, why the destruction?

Why am I thinking of how my parents must have ached and quaked

sitting in hospital rooms, listening to white coat protocol-


except to release a real-life child to death, to unthinkable death.

I mouthed the words but I didn’t register the meaning –

because I’m still on the simpler fare—

that love is holding the tongue

and squeezing my own trembling body while

I watch and allow.

I am unable to live for another,

unable to undo words,

unable to iron out the wrinkles

of the kinks forming in the plan.

The night brings what the day allows me to hide.

The learning is only ever mine

and it can only be postponed, never avoided altogether;

now or later is  the only choice I get to make.


13 Responses to “parenting by powerpoint”

  1. Suzanne March 17, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    You are a very good writer. I look forward to reading more.

    • marga t. March 20, 2016 at 12:19 am #

      So nice to meet you, Suzanne.

  2. Michael March 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    Hello Marga,

    I’ll take a copy. Ha!

    Your heart-full words reminded me of this passage in A Course of Love, the Treatises, that I was able to find, “To take away your freedom in order to protect you, even from yourself, would not have been an act of love. To take away your freedom would be to take away God’s own freedom, the freedom of creation. Your rebellion against the constraints of your nature in form became part of the pattern of creation because it was the created’s response. It was your response, and since God is both the Creator and the Created, it was God’s response as well.”

    Seems we have been playing this game for a while… Perhaps there can be comfort in the recognition that freedom is its own type of perfection, and that even the greatest Love we could possibly imagine has had to let its children learn by touching the hot stove directly…


    • marga t. March 20, 2016 at 12:31 am #

      Oh, who are we not to play God. 🙂 Meaty quote to ponder, M! Thank you.

      These days make me nostalgic for the days of allowing a little one to go without a coat to determine for herself the chill factor. The same idea on the playing field of young adult…feels a more serious matter. (Not so – in the big picture, though, is it?)

      This blog originally started out to be my mirror – and on days like this, I can see how putting the words out there helps me see my own inclinations from an outside perspective. So gracious of you to help me with this reflecting process. I gaze into the mirror and how many faces do I see reflecting back? As many as I need! Custom-made goggles for each of us, eh!

  3. Hariod Brawn March 17, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    I can empathise with your parents’ situation, Marga. No one can absorb that kind of blow all at once, and the bruises remain for life.

    • marga t. March 20, 2016 at 12:35 am #

      There appears to be a bit of a dredging going on for this shifting inlet, H. Long, long ago, and yet I am just now uncovering the other perspective a bit.
      I hope you are experiencing a bit of a shift into the perspective of spring time. We are having an early one here. Ah chew. xo!! m

  4. Alison and Don March 18, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    I love the wisdom in this marga. There’s nothing to be done. Only love. And comfort when the other is willing to receive it. You have such courage and strength and clarity! Swim in the night-time fears, adventure through the darkness. I think there’s more wisdom there.

    • marga t. March 20, 2016 at 12:38 am #

      Feeling my way as I go, Alison. I sometimes want to erase when I write about my vulnerabilities – but allowing myself the snapshot reflection seems to move me to a new place, yet again – especially with some thoughtful and wise friends mirroring back to me. Hope to catch up with you soon! xo!m

  5. smilecalm March 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    a struggle
    all to much
    for one to bear,

    • marga t. March 20, 2016 at 12:39 am #

      thank you
      for giving me the space
      to bear it
      not alone
      so I can get back
      to the calm smile, again!

  6. Kelly Kuhn March 20, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Utterly beautiful post.

    The timing is perfect. A former best friend of mine lost her oldest son to a drug overdose 2 days ago. We were pregnant together for our first and second babies – our firstborns came 6 weeks apart and our second children only 1 day apart. We spent endless hours together as brand new mothers. I babysat her son for a short while, when a nanny quit without notice. We joked that our children would date one day. I moved away shortly after our babies began walking and our friendship withered, but the memories and love remain strong.

    To imagine that her 21 year-old boy is gone is beyond my ability.

    My daughters have just pulled up to the house, Starbucks in hand for us. They are beautiful and safe at the moment.

    Life is complicated, isn’t it marga? Thank you for your blog, your light, your grace, your connection.

    • marga t. March 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      You’ve been much on my mind since I read your response a day or so ago. I’ve been chewing on the “huge-ness” of what you shared. Such high stakes in this parenting undertaking through one lens(which makes me quake with fear), then at times I am able to zoom out and see how every small and big undertaking is only possible through a leap into trust. Leaping into the volcano with you, dear friend!

      • Kelly Kuhn March 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

        After I read your comment I read mine, and was surprised to see that I had written that my friend’s son died from a drug overdose. I don’t remember writing that – isn’t that curious? Anyway, the shock of his death is that he had so much going for him, and I’m not sure he did drugs often. He took a drug before or during a concert, and died that night from seizures. Definitely huge.

        I believe we choose these bodies, these lives – that we stay as long as we need to do whatever we need to do, and then we go. I know children leave when they do because it is the right time. That’s my way of zooming out and trusting. I am grateful for this. And I’m grateful we are leaping together.

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