School Morning near the End of Kindergarten
by Beth Kelley Gillogly
I just feel so thankful this morning, she said.
I want to thank you and daddy for being my parents.
I want to give you something, presents.
I need to go upstairs and wrap something.
It was a school morning, every minute needed for
eating, brushing teeth, putting on rain gear on this
overcast and cool May morning.
That is so sweet. I said. Thank you for saying that.
We don’t have time right now to wrap presents, though, I said
And even if the presents were already wrapped and on the table
We wouldn’t have time, I said. We would want to take our time opening them
And enjoying them. We need to wait till after school.
But I will forget after school! She wailed. I always forget!
I will help you, I will write it down, I said
I don’t want you to help me and I don’t want you to write it down, she said.
I wrote down, Wrap presents for M & D, and also
Bury Old Queen, who is our fish who died 3 days ago
and still floats in her fish bowl which is an old milk jar.
I put the reminder list on the front door so I would see it
when we came home from school.
More pouting. I brush her teeth in silence. She broods.
I think, how is it that we are fighting about when and how
she can tell me thank you for being a good parent?
Daddy drives to school, cheers her up with
chatter on the way to the car.
I walk them out, and give her the flashlight
and there is a blanket in the backseat.
She likes to hide under there in the car.
As they drive away, she comes out from the blanket to wave
and makes the I love you sign with her little hand.
Beth Kelley Gillogly is a writer, singer, gardener, and type-A mom who is striving to be more gentle to herself. Beth went to NYU for grad school, where she studied poetry with Sharon Olds, Galway Kinnell, and Billy Collins, but she has not made time to write much since her daughter (now almost 10!) was born. She hopes that will change soon. She also directs Sierra Foothills Music Together, an early childhood music program in Northern California.