Parents, dear parents, don't live in a fog.

Raising a child is like growing a log.

Each free spirit is destined to be

A cottonwood, maple or strong oak tree.


Nurture the roots to grow deep and strong,

Like principles, holding him all life long.

The trunk, like character, can bend and sway.

Give warmth of sun to grow straight all the way.


Disillusionment, illness, unresolved grief

Can knot up the trunk and curl up each leaf.

Don't push, harass or make ugly sound.

You can't see the world from his piece of ground.

Water, sunlight and fertilized earth

Help build strength, vitality, love and self-worth.

When old, Tree gives shelter, shade and good food.

It stands by the world, regardless of mood.


Just like trees, there's no ownership here.

Children--on loan to give joy, pain and cheer.

Parents, dear parents, relax!  Please, don't pace.

Seedlings will grow in their own special space.


©Lynnette Schuepbach, September 2, 1992

Dedicated to Patty and Josh