Family rituals are not always blissful. They can be a tussle until you work out a way to improve them.
One way I like to tackle such challenges in everyday life is to write them down. So a daily struggle over my eldest son’s favourite pair of boots, many years ago, became a funny poem.
Unfortunately I didn’t write the poem straightaway when he was going through his ‘keep- the-shoes-on-all-night phase.’ I wish I had! Then I could have used the poem as a tool to end our shoe battles.
I realize now all is not lost – the poem can be used to help us in the present and the future, what’s more new verses can be added so we learn to walk in each other’s shoes.
Ballad of the Boots
Son to Mum
My boots are made for sleeping
I’ll never take them off again.
My feet are made for keeping
Those leathery brown boots.
My heart is made for boots
They are the world to me
& if you take them off me Mum
I’ll scream the whole house down.
My boots they sing me songs
As the crackle in the night
My heart is made for weeping
For my hand-me-down brown boots.
Mum to Son
Son, I wish you’d take off those boots
For they are lethal weapons as you sleep.
I know you love them deeply, truly, madly
But they do not make your parents
Meet the morning, mannered mild.
If you stayed asleep on your own bed
I’d have no problems with your obsession,
But as you creep up into ours
I’d rather your boots were in your dreams
& not your midnight possession
Boots to Son
When you grow up you won’t remember
the love that we once shared.
But that’s okay I won’t be lonely because
I always travel in pairs.
I just have one small request before I go
Please polish me & check my eyelets
Then sing me a song to imprint into my sole.
Boots to Mum (New verse)
One day he’ll be fully grown
& new shoes he’ll own
Boots will be replaced by runners
new challenges be found
Remember you can write a poem
To reach out to him
Say the things you need to say
As Mum to grown up son
You can read more of June’s poetry and Stories at her blog Pearlz Dreaming.
This poem appeared on ABC Open’s 500 Words.