Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"You'll be a Man my son"

I came across this poem when I was a teenager and I spent an evening a week at my grandmother's house. We shared a love of poety and would often leaf through various books she had collected over the years or recite our favorites from memory. I loved this poem back then but when I had Lexie it meant so much more. I used to read it to her often as an infant. I eventually gave up because there just isn't a way to change the last line for a girl. So now that I have Owenski, this poem has come back to me often. It says exactly what my heart wishes for my son (and daughter). And when I read it to my children I can feel the love my grandmother has for them and I know she shares my hopes for them as well. I miss her dearly but she will forever live on in my heart and in the faces (and hands) of my precious babes.

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Thanks, Mama.


Tammy Mallett said...

I have always enjoyed that poem! I enjoyed reading your blog! I had forgotten that you were pregnant again! When is the planned move! Let me know if you want family pics before you move!