My mother’s thoughts on being mother and father to me

As my mother often did the role of mother and father I sent her a message yesterday to thank her for being such a strong influence in my life and for molding me in to the woman I am today… Her response was touching:

‘Raising children was both the most rewarding and most difficult task of my life. I have been sharing your poems with alot of people and the response is off the hook. I was thinking of a time in middle school when you wrote a very strong piece for an essay. Like your current work it was on the edge. I was asked to come down to the school to discuss your paper. I had to remind them it was a creative writing assignment and that was your version of creative.’ MOM


My Darling Daughter – I Am Lead By You

Anticipating you, I planned our journey:
All we would do, all I would teach you,
Inwardly I prepared to surrender to you,
You arrived, my life seismically shifted
And you became my teacher:

And I your willing pupil – your mother:

You taught me unconditional love the moment we met,
You taught me I was selfish, because now I am selfless,
You taught me true heartbreak – I feel your every tear,
You taught me guidance does not mean being right,
You taught me building memories is in the simplicity of the day,

My daughter, my darling, my pride and joy –
how can I ever thank you for showing me the way?

-L.J. Lenehan-

My Darling Daughter


This beautiful painting by:

Despondent Garden

Defiantly she allows last year’s dirt
to cover the house. All the years
her house was a show, dinner delivered
by four. The garden was beautiful then,

people travelled miles around to see
the exotic flora in an over soaked land.
She planted the tree the year of her child,
she thought they would grow together.

It grew but he did not, painfully she remained
the blossoms reminded her every spring
of everything life could have been: beautiful,
simple, happy, full of life. Years went by,

her husband marching people in and out,
to fix her, to find out what was wrong with
her, to demand she complete her wifely duties,
until finally, he said a timely good bye.

She was not sorry the garden had over grown,
she emerges in late January, early February to tenderly
prune the white cherry blossom, with a heavy
heart she stops the bloom.

Amidst the clutter of her past the path to
remove what is no longer wanted is treacherous
but she makes the journey to endure her life,
the one she was given.

– L.J. Lenehan –



Alone in a room of two hundred, Christmas Carols play,
Saints taunt me on the wall, I sit, simulating motherhood.
Nervousness sets in, I notice the eyes of the neighbours
I told to fuck off six months ago, they would not accept
I was depressed.

Children sing, overwhelmingly loud, out of tune, I focus
on my daughter, her natural confidence reminds me of
everything I am not – I pretend a little longer, fight the
urge to crawl under pews and hide from the world because
I love her.

I admire my matching socks and think today is a good day,
I managed to brush my hair. I don’t envy the cooing couples,
the perfectly sculptured families, once I did, now I know:
it’s just life, mine is different, lonely, but it’s mine and
worth living.

– L.J. Lenehan –

I Love You, Honey

Rocking in a spacious corner,
blankly repeating,
I love you, honey.

He left,
he took the girls,
he did not visit.

Red brick walls,
two windows,
I love you, honey.

He moved on,
leaving me rocking,
locked in the memories:

of birthday cakes,
pine trees at Christmas,
lazy Sunday days.

in the empty room,
I love you, honey.

Perplexed by time passed,
he told the girls, I died,
they love another mother.

I love you, honey, echoes,
in my vacant life,
I wish, he had loved me too.

– L.J. Lenehan –

Ode To Gaelic 4 Mothers & Others

Since 1890, Ireland’s Gaelic mother has been supporting football,
Eagerly anticipating, her offspring’s contribution in Spring’s competition,
Origin of sport, boasts from the sideline, ‘my lad is first port of call!’
19th century Gaelic mother’s never thought Gaelic Games would be permissioned.

Mothers shed tears in defeat but also delight, when their boys brought home silver,
Another chance for pride started in 1970s, when the Ladies got playing,
Every mother, wanted GAA to teach their teenage athlete how to be a leader,
Busy washing contents of gear bags, chauffeuring matches, she never noticed her hair greying.

But now Gaelic mothers are in the 21st century, role of supporter has metamorphosed to player,
Taking time to display their talents as forwards, backs, midfielders, goalkeepers and substitutes,
Contemporary Gaelic mothers brought in a few others, for a bit of craic over the summer,
Wearing hearts on their boots, Gaelic mothers show off knowledge of their traditional roots.

In thirty two counties, mothers have burst on to Gaelic football fields with love,
Of the sport they created over a century ago…

– L.J. Lenehan –

Children’s Money

My sister-n-law gave my daughter a couple of euro for helping her mind her baby. I brought my daughter to the shop so she could buy something. She bought an ice cream and a mineral. When we got back in the car she was in the floods of tears and I asked her what was wrong. My daughter said she was upset because she spent most of her money and did not have much left. I told her I really understood how she felt.

Tooth Fairy

My daughter lost her first big tooth. This was monumental because every other tooth she has lost has fallen down the sink. This tooth however fell out in her Grandmother’s house and we were very excited to put the tooth under her pillow. Within an hour my daughter was in floods of tears. The tooth was missing!

I told my daughter not to worry about it that she could write a letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining what had happened and he would leave her a present under the pillow anyway. We forgot to write the letter! In fact we forgot to write the letter for three days.

My daughter was very sad that the tooth fairy had forgotton her. I rang her grandmother and asked her if the Tooth Fairy had left any money in her house being confused because the tooth had been lost in her house. Luckily enough the Tooth Fairy had indeed left money in her house for her.

We drove immediately to my mother-n-laws house and she told her which bed she had found the money on. My daughter and her grandmother walked down and retrieved the money. On the way back up the hall I heard my daughter ask her grandmother, ‘are you that the Tooth Fairy came and that you did not just put the money under the pillow for me?’


Curly Hair

Pink everything exploded in my house seven years ago when I met my beautiful daughter. Since day one she stole my heart. She is fantastically funny, sweet, pretty and likes everything to do with being a girl. At seven she knows more about fashion that I could ever hope to know.

My daughter has beautiful curls but they are impossible to keep. As much as my daughter loves being a girl and everything to do with being a girl she has not made the connection that brushing her hair daily is part of being fashionable.

This week my daughter told me that she is only going to let her Aunt brush her hair. That would be okay if her Aunt lived next door but she lives a half hour away from us and we only see her every other week or so. In a weak moment I gave in to the craziness and said I would bring her to buy a special brush that she could choose if she would just brush her hair every day. Yes, I was bargaining, pleading and begging all at the same time.

Infuriated she looked up at me with her beautiful green eyes and said what part of my Aunt will brush my hair do you not understand?

I’m laughing because I don’t understand any part of that statement or how she can think that is a workable solution…

It’s Because I’m American

My seven year old daughter received an invitation for a birthday party today which had detailed instructions for her friends party including an R.S.V.P. My daughter is an inquisitive little soul and she asked me what R.S.V.P. means. I said, ‘I don’t know, respond specially to something with a v and a p.’

My husband always happy to show off how much he learned in school said, ‘Répondez s’il vous plaît, it’s French.’

My daughter said, ‘Mommy just didn’t know because they don’t teach French in America.’ I said, ‘It’s true, they don’t.’