Mother's Day

Hope all you moms out there have had a lovely Mother's Day.
I had to share the little drawing my sweet girl made me for the occasion.

Isn't she sweet? I love me some Little Red!

Now I'm waiting for homework to be finished so we can play Pictionary. It is a rare occasion indeed when The Man of The Cart agrees to play a boxed game.

Mother's Day reminds me of a poem by our current-favorite poet, Billy Collins.

We love Billy Collins around here, and have spent many an evening huddled around the computer for storytime. The small miracle that finds my teenagers eagerly watching poetry readings with their parents is not lost upon me.

The Lanyard
by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly off the blue walls of this room, moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano, from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor, when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist could send one into the past more suddenly— a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake learning how to braid long thin plastic strips into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard or wear one, if that’s what you did with them, but that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand again and again until I had made a boxy red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts, and I gave her a lanyard. She nursed me in many a sick room, lifted spoons of medicine to my lips, laid cold face-cloths on my forehead, and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim, and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard. Here are thousands of meals, she said, and here is clothing and a good education. And here is your lanyard, I replied, which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, strong legs, bones and teeth, and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered, and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp. And here, I wish to say to her now, is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother, but the rueful admission that when she took the two-tone lanyard from my hand, I was as sure as a boy could be that this useless, worthless thing I wove out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Hope your day found you in the company
of some sort of motherly benefit, even if only in thought.


  1. The magical thing about motherhood is that yes, receiving a lanyard DOES make everything absolutely even...!

    Thanks for a Mothers Day smile.

  2. Beautiful artistry and poet...
    Happy Mommy Day

    Sonia ;)

  3. What a wonderful poem - Thanks so much for sharing it!

    And your daughter's illustration is just lovely - no surprise she's inherited her parent's talent!

    ~ Carolee

  4. Wonderful pic of Lil Red, what a lovey gift to receive! Great poetry too, thank you for posting this.

  5. Thank you for sharing Joee!! It sounds like you had a great day and knew exactly how to spend it!

  6. Jo You are Tagged...

    Sonia ;)

  7. Wow! Following in mom's footsteps :) Great job!

  8. So, I came across the word "lanyard" while reading to my daughter the other night. I went quickly onto the next sentence as I did not know what a lanyard was and I did not want to give her time to ask. I forgot about the word until just now.

    I looked up the word in the dictionary. It does seem to be small and unimportant. But if my daughter ever gives me one she made, I'll hopefully treasure it and call it even.

    Thanks so much for sharing that poem, and the lovely drawing by your daughter.


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