Monday, January 19, 2009


Our daughter went back to college yesterday, after time home for winter break. It was a long recess, as many other schools commenced last week.

Having her leave reminded me of a poem I wrote last year-her first year in college. It seems I feel the same a year after writing it. I suppose I will always feel this way. It's part of being a mom.


how i loved you then,
and how i love you now.

so long ago
your little face
was all that i could see.

i held you,
wondering how your delicate soul
to fill my world.

they say
we don't know what it's like
to be a parent-
until we are one
(and that was true for me, for sure).

all the things i'd learned
and read
were tossed out the door!

making our way
through twists and turns,
your dad and i
muddled through those first days-

then months-
now years
have passed
and you are gone-

(well that is as it should be).

you're not far,
you'll be home soon.

college is a stage
in time,

it will be over
and you'll be home
and never leave?

no, that's not right-
i want a Life for you

(don't wish to pen you in).

you are a woman
not a child-

but it feels to me
that time has gone
too fast
to take this in.

when you were young
you were our first
a daughter--we were so blessed!

a little girl, our very own,
to cherish and to love.

how much more complete
can one feel in this vast universe?

the dress you wore
(the one your gramma bought
before she knew you were a girl)

you looked so adorable;
and now you've grown.

you were our life back then
and now i think
where did time go?

i wish those days would come again-

without any parting words
they left
not one reminder
they were even on their way out!

they caught me ill-prepared
and i have thought not of the truth-
that your days here
are nearly done.

your time under our roof
is time that's almost over now.

you'll be on your own,
with a family
and a life.
will you remember

how i loved you then,
and how i love you now?

--Today I am thankful for the days and months and years my husband and I have spent watching our daughter grow into a lovely and kind young woman.


  1. Hi...I came here from Shirl's...I, too, have a daughter returning to school (although she left today)...mine's a Hokie, maybe yours is also?...lovely pictures...all the best...Katie

  2. That is such a beautiful poem. Your daughter will cherish that.

  3. Hi Gotta Garden, thanks for stopping by! VT is a great school...go Hokies! No, my daughter doesn't go to VT. I thought most schools went back last week, but I guess there are several:) I need to visit your site!

  4. Jan,

    Beautiful photos and a wonderful poem. It's hard to see them leave, even if we want them to create their own life and family. We miss our son...He is in grad school in RI. Over the holidays we talked about how nice it would be if he lived across town and not across the country! Take care Jan and keep warm. Gail

  5. Jan, they do grow up way too fast. It is so hard to believe that my daughter is 21 already.

  6. Oh Jan! That's so beautiful and touching. I'm sure your daughter cried after reading it and the photos fit the words. Especially that of the rabbit and the angel! I was moved!

  7. Jan, you've brought tears to my eyes. As my daughter nears college age (and my son not far behind...I only have to blink), possibly entering early, I can't help but think of how hard this will be for me and my husband. We have been blessed with 2 beautiful children, and we have been fortunate that we were able to home school them- what a shock that day will be for me. Thank you for sharing your heart- know that it is appreciated greatly.

  8. Hi Jan
    Yes they grow up too fast. I have a daughter she is 41 already and she has two boys 17 and 14 years. I cant belive that she is so grown up already. I was only 19 when she was born. She is my best friend and a dear daughter.
    You have written a very nice and touching poem.Thanks for sharing it.

  9. That was great Jan, I agree with Tessa 'you've brought tears to my eyes' very touching and beautiful. I have two girls and they are more or less left the nest.

    Have a great day on this very exciting historical day/ Tyra

  10. Jan, a lovely heart tugging poem. One all parents can relate to in one way or another. Your pictures are wonderful!

  11. Hi there Jan :-)

    A beautiful tribute to your daughter and the stage you are all in now. I too can relate to this. My first child/daughter is in her first year at Uni (she's 18). She was back for her year's exams on the 6th and returns home tonight for a few days hols now that they are over. I agree it his her time now and, like you with your daughter I'm sure, we wish her much happiness :-D

  12. Jan,
    Thanks for sharing your poem... they grow up so fast. Both of mine are away at college, both to graduate this spring. One from grad school and the other undergrad. So in the blink of an eye they will be on their own. If your daughter needs anything, give me a holler.

  13. So precious Jan. Somehow I think your daughter knows how much you love her.

  14. How you brought tears to my eyes with this lovely poem! My daughter moved out on her own about a year and a half ago, and I still miss her very much.

  15. Jan, what a beautiful poem and lovely photos to accompany it. You've captured the feelings of every mother so well. In those early days of sleepless nights or when they're testing our patience, we think we can't wait for them to grow out of that stage. Then before we know it, they've left us...I remember thinking, "No, no, I'm not ready to let go of you."

    Our youngest daughter graduated from college this past May, but she's living with us this year. She plans to move out this summer...I don't know how I will react to that. Thankfully, I have grandchildren nearby to help fill the void!

  16. Hi Jan.
    Home from the Florida road trip with my girls and just read your wonderful daughter posting. Mine head back to school shortly too. I enjoy their time back home and our road trip, as you can imagine, was full of great fun and many, many memories to hold on to. Thanks for sharing your poem with us.

  17. My goodness--every single reply means so much to me, and I'm not just sayin' that to be nice:)

    Thank you, Noelle, for leaving your kind comment;)

    Gail: I am sure you miss your son in grad. school in Rhode Island! At the same time, I know you are proud of him!

    Robin: You can really relate to this, as well. My daughter is 20 now, very close in age to your 21 yr old!! It is hard to believe sometimes:)

    Chandramouli: Thank you--I'm glad it was moving and touching to you:)

    Tessa: It's a process that gradually happens--you are kind of guided into it over time. You will be more ready than you think, when the time comes. But you will always have that feeling of 'where did the time go'...because it really does hurry by:)

    Thank you, LindaLunda my dear:)

    Gunilla, Even though your daughter is 41 you still feel the same sometimes...and I guess that's how it is when we have children:) Congratulations on your 2 grandchildren and I am sure you are very proud of them! It's so nice that you and your daughter are best friends; that doesn't always happen:(

    Tyra: I'm glad it touched you and you could relate, having 2 daughters about that age:) Yes, today is the day we will remember for all will certainly go down in history as the beginning of something very new for the US, and for the world:)

    Dear Beckie: I thank you for your kind comment; I know you can understand:)

    Shirl: I am so glad you were touched and can relate; your daughters are very close in age to mine so you know exactly what it's like:)

    Thank you so much, Linda;)

  18. Q of S: Wow, having 2 graduations this spring is something you are really looking forward to, I'm sure--although you probably have those same feelings now and then:) You must be so very proud of them!! Thank you for extending yourself to us! Perhaps we will have the chance to meet sometime:) I have some friends down that way that I still haven't seen because when I go down there, I'm always busy w/my daughter and then I need to turn around and drive home:) But, who knows??!!

    Tina: Thank you for commenting, I am certain she does!!

    MsRobin: I hope you were touched in a 'good' way...I mean,I don't want you to be too sad....!! I am sure you do miss your daughter now that she's moved out;) I am sure it is a time of 'mixed' emotions.

    Rose: Thank you, and I know you can relate! You have been through every stage so you know! Now you are going through it again--and, again you will probably have similar feelings from time to time--and perhaps feel more than ready for her to be on her own from time to time, as well!!!!! It must be rewarding to have grandchildren who you can see frequently:)

  19. Jan,

    I love these pics. They are all so beautiful. I especially like the one of the daisy, the fading affect is a really nice touch.

    Thank you for getting back with me. To explain how I picked the blogs that I wanted to interview was mostly by Blotanical. You, among other bloggers, had amny people like your blog. You had a lot of great reviews. Also the traffic of your blog was another testiment to its great success. It is nothing to be embarrised about. Also, I am very sorry about my spelling. I am in a rush, and my brain is going to fast for my fingers. Please email me at, there I can explain it better than I can here.

    Thanks once again

  20. I am not a mom, but I understand it must be hard to let children grow, and that your love has to change. The very "apex" of your job as parent--creating a young adult who is confident and can move alone in the world--is also the nadir because you "lose" the child. But gain an adult. I respect the hard work parenting must be.

  21. Jan, that is a beautiful poem. They tell us time is fleeting, but we don't understand until this day comes.

  22. This was really beautiful - both the words and the pix. And the words were so true.

  23. How beautiful, Jan!
    Both the poem and your photos.


  24. You've written words to convey complex feelings beautifully. And the photographs enhance the poem.
    A beautiful post.

  25. Dear Jan ~ most touched, I'm here to wrap my arms around you and say your days are just beginning. Your beautiful poem could have been mine(I also wrote in this phase) but simply because you and your husband are you, this much in life I know is true, your children will return into your life with heartfelt gifts of thank-yous that will warm your heart and fire your soul to again write heartfelt poetry with 'pen on fire'! (Hugs)

  26. What a lovely poem! And, positively flawless pictures to boot!--Randy

  27. Jan, that was so beautiful and your pics are all so stunning. The birds, especially!

  28. A touching poem, and such beautiful accompanying photos!

  29. Yep! That says it all. My daughter moved to Daytona Beach, now we see each other when work permits.........Love the photos with the verses.

  30. Wonderful,loving and creative post !
    But I feel a little sad...

  31. Beautiful words and stunning photography, you are so inspiring. x

  32. Oh! This is so touching! Your daughter is truly blessed to have a mother that cares for her so deeply.

    Jan, you are a very special soul.


  33. Beautiful poetry and photos to accompany. Has your daughter seen this yet? Raising a child is such a privilege, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your heart. :-)

  34. They do grow fast. It's good that you can express complicated and contradictory feelings in your poetry.

  35. Could there be a more sentimental journey than motherhood? I think not. Such a heartfelt poem with beautiful captures to match...your daughter must have shed tears of joy as she read!

  36. Hi Jan, what a heart felt and lovely poem. Our first child was a girl also, what a gift to have a daughter, and I am doubly blessed, for I have two. Both mothers themselves, it just gets better and better.

    You asked about my photos, I use wordpress, a whole different world than blogger. I had to rewrite the code for the css sheet to be able to get them so large, not an easy task, and had to pay to have that privilege too. It looks like you are doing it, the results are superb. I don't think there is an easier way for you on blogger.


  37. Your blog is filled in love.

  38. What a lovely tribute to your daughter! Mine is going to be 27 in February. I can relate to the things you say. We see her a couple times a month, except lately, she's been coming over more often to take baths because she likes our tub better than hers, which she says doesn't drain well. She has to take baths because of her eczema. She still likes me to scratch her back.

    Thanks for putting the birds and blooms up, too. I am hoping to get some pics of our dove family soon.

  39. What a beautiful poem Jan. I can so relate and it makes me emotional too. :-( It's our goal to raise children to grow up and live independently but it's definitely hard to let go. I agree with Gail, if they just stayed in the same town, it would be easier/nicer (instead of going so far away) like so often happens. Thanks for sharing this personal poem with all of us. Time really passes in the blink of an eye, doesn't it?

  40. Jan,

    What a lovely tribute to your daughter! The photo of the blue jay, with his head cocked to the side, is gorgeous.

    Hey, I discovered something else we have in common (other than gardening and both living in Virginia)---Jim Brickman's music! I love working in my studio (and on long road trips, too) and listening to his music.


Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!


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