I Know What You Mean

FullSizeRenderWhen you tell your story,

I know you.

Your words land in my heart

and I feel with you.

When I tell you my story,

you know me.

My words reach out

and you hold them safe.

We hold each other’s stories

and know that we are not alone.


As you tell me about the moment

you met your child

for the first time,

I know you feel complete

in a way you hadn’t known

you were empty.

And I know,

when you click the car seat buckle for the first time

and drive away,

you can’t believe

this child is now yours

To care for.

How can it be

that you can just drive away

with an entire new person?

Surely there must be some mistake.


I know what you mean

when you talk about milk and diapers

Dr. Seuss and Bread and Jam for Frances

Fevers and vomit

Bicycles and Legos

Nightmares and searching for your place in a group of friends.

I know what you mean.

Love past reason,

past words,

way past time

and all of the stars.

I know what you mean.

Recipes for Mommy Soup

songs sung off key

Tears and sweat

Yogurt and apples

So many Goldfish.


I am not in your house.

And yet, I know.

Your house is my house.

Our sippy cups in the sink

and the Cheerios in our toes

are the same.

I see you

and I know that I am not alone.

Your doubt is my doubt.

Both of us up

long past our bedtimes

wondering in the dark

if we have done enough,

loved enough

that day. Preparing

To do it again tomorrow.


Tell me

about the ways parenting is hard.

Tell me

what you wish

you had done differently.

Tell me

what you wish

you could unsay.

I will sit with you.

Darkness is welcome.

It is safe here.

I know. It’s hard for me too.


I know

We do the best we can.

We give it all we’ve got.


I know.

This light.

This dark.

This wholeness.

This brokenness.

This you.

This life.

It takes everything.

We are undone

and made whole by it.


And I know

There are words you want them to know–

How your world rests on the curl of their eyelashes.

How your heart sits at the place where their ankles meet their socks.

Your life in their smell.

You want them to know each of these things.

But where to begin?

So you pack their lunch

Adding a few extra slices of cheese.

Calcium is good for you.


Tell me what you love most

about your





You know the answer.

It fills the spaces between all your seconds.

It has never left you.

But maybe you’ve never been asked,

so the words sit inside you



I want to know the details.

I want to know what you know.

How do you do this thing called parenting?

How do you keep doing this thing called parenting

When you are certain you can’t go on?

What’s it like

over at your house today?

Do you also find

size 8 underwear in the bookcase?


Tell me your story.

And I’ll tell you mine.

And together let us speak

The stories that

Turn us back towards each other.