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Is parenthood worth it?

Poet’s corner

July 4, 2012
By ANDREW LOCKWOOD , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Young man, pacing back and forth

In that hospital's waiting room,

Sweating bullets like no tomorrow.

Young nurse comes though the door.

He grabs her arms and asks a question -

"Are they alright? I need to know."

The nurse smiles at him and says,

"She's had a small tear, but don't worry.

Your wife is in the best of hands."

She then leaves him to get some supplies.

The young man turns, and looks at

His mother, sitting in a chair, reading a book.

"Mother," he says. "Is it worth it?

"All this pain and aggravation I'm feeling?

"I wish it was me in there, instead of her.

"Tell me mother - is it worth it?"

The woman looks at him and smiles,

A slight twinkle in her eyes,

As if seeing something that isn't there.

"Yes son," she said, as the door opens again.

Another nurse comes out with a bundle,

That is crying out loud,

And places it in the young man's arms

Saying, "It's a girl."

The young man smiles,

As he holds his new daughter.

"It's worth it son."

A few weeks later,

Young man stifles a yawn,

As he tries to do his work.

Waking up every few hours during the night,

To feed his daughter,

Is taking its toll on him.

During break, he gets out his phone,

And places an important call.

"Mother, is it worth it?

"Waking up in the middle of the night

"To take care of her is affecting me.

"I get the feeling that my boss

"Will have me fired soon.

"Tell me mother - is it worth it?"

He hears a chuckle over the phone,

Just as the boss comes in,

And looks right at him

Saying, "No personal calls while on the job."

"Trust me son," his mother says,

As he closes the phone.

"It's worth it."

Seventeen years later,

An older man sits in a chair,

Looking at a door.

Young woman comes in,

Followed by a young man.

They see him, and he says,

"You were supposed to be back at 10,

"It's after midnight."

"Me and Jimmy were just having fun,"

She says, as she kisses the young man.

"You've got school in the morning,"

He says angrily. "Get up to your room."

"Dad, I'm not a child anymore," she says.

"I don't care - get going!" he shouts.

"Fine," she says in a huff, as she goes up the stairs.

He walks to the phone, and dials a number.

The phone picks up on the other end with a sleepy "Yes."

"Mother," he says. "Is it worth it?

"Jimmy brought her home late.

"I yelled at her, and acted like a monster.

"Mother tell me - is it worth it?"

A chuckle comes from the phone,

As he looks at the pictures of him and his daughter

Building sand castles on the beach,

Riding a pony for the very first time,

Playing Wendy in the "Peter Pan" play,

Sixth grade Valedictorian,

Her first car - and her first crash -

The tree was never the same afterwards.

"Trust me son," his mother says. "It's worth it."

A few years later, he's waiting in the pew

Of a white-washed church.

It's his daughter's special day.

Jimmy's looking radiant in his tuxedo,

As he waits for his bride-to-be.

The man turns to his elderly mother,

Watching as she adjusts

A knob on her oxygen tank,

Breathing the pressurized air in

Though a special nozzle.

"Tell me mother," he says,

As he places his hand on hers.

"Is it worth it?

"I feel like I'm just giving her away,

"To someone that I just don't fully know.

"She may be an adult now, but to me,

"She'll always be my little girl."

The woman looks at him,

With tears of joy in her eyes,

As that door opens,

And that young woman comes in,

With a train following her white dress.

"Yes son," the old woman says,

As he stands up to escort his daughter

To the priest, and to Jimmy.

"It's worth it."

A few months later,

The man is kneeling on the floor,

And holding onto his mother's hands,

As her time draws near.

"Tell me mother," he says,

As tears fall from his eyes.

"Is it worth it?

"I am in so much pain.

"I'd rather it be most anyone else but you.

"You've helped me through

"All of the tough times in my life,

"So tell me mother - is it worth it?"

The woman looks at him,

With a smile on her face,

As she says softly,

And starts to slip away,

"Yes son, it's worth it.

"All the pain I've been through,

"As I watched you grow up,

"And change into the man you've become.

"Yes son - it's worth it."

One year later,

The man is sitting in a waiting room,

In a hospital watching Jimmy

Pace back and forth,

Sweating bullets like no tomorrow.

A nurse comes through a door,

And Jimmy grabs a hold of her,

Asking the all-important question -

"Are they alright? I need to know."

The nurse smiles and says,

"There were some minor complications,

"But don't worry, they're in the best of care."

She then leaves to get some supplies.

Jimmy turns, and looks at the man.

"Tell me," he says. "Is it worth it?

"All this pain and aggravation I'm feeling?

"I wish it was me in there instead of her.

"Tell me - is it worth it?"

The man smiles,

As he reflects on all the times,

That he had asked that very question.

"Yes," he says, as a nurse comes out the door,

And places a bundle

That is crying out loud,

In Jimmy's arms

Saying, "It's a boy."

As Jimmy smiles.

"Yes young man - it's worth it."

 
 

 

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