A Mother’s Mantra

Jennifer Reinharz Poetry

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I stand behind the ironing board pressing a crease into slacks

and watch

you weave Stampy Cat from yellow bands

The knot in my throat


An adventure looms

For each of us

Soon to middle school

A world away

My bonafide tween

Reminders simmer

Walk in groups. Be modest. Don’t let anyone take advantage.

Use your voice

Use a tissue

Use deodorant

Never spoken


A mother’s mantra

“I love you. I’m proud. Have fun.”

We drive the twisted side streets

Knapsack in trunk

You stare beyond the glass


Raindrops camouflage my tears

Focus. Don’t dawdle. Chin up.

Take a risk

Trim those nails

Try the cafeteria

“I love you. I’m proud. Have fun.”

I stuff forms into a purse

You practice combinations with new mates

throw a glance

and disappear with the pack

It’s almost time

Wear glasses. Watch your words. Mind the manners.

Be organized

Be flexible

Be you

“I love you. I’m proud. Have fun.”

The front hall

A swift kiss good-bye

Stay a boy forever

One stolen squeeze

Experience it all

“I love you. I’m proud. Have fun.”

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About the Author

Jennifer Reinharz

Writes for children. Blogs for grown ups. Teacher. CrossFitter. Mom. Jennifer is a 2015 BlogHer Voice of the Year and creator of the personal essay blog, Her work has also appeared in Brain, Child and The Mid. Visit her on and .

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September 2015 – BAM
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