Soul shaking influence (poem)

Since I’ve been talking about my big kid here on the blog lately, I thought I would share a poem that I wrote last year about her. I know it isn’t the type of content I usually publish here, but I thought you might enjoy it. Also, it gave me an excuse to share one of my favorite pictures of her at age four.

(And if you’re ever interested in more of my creative writing, you are invited to visit my personal blog. The Love Songs are my favorite.)

Sometimes I’m not sure which I find more startling as a parent: the things they do which are the perfect echo of myself or the things about them which are so entirely unique to them, bursting forth
without any influence.  I think those thoughts are where today’s words come from.

She grew inside me, close to my heart.
This girl, who looks so much like me, and yet is her own person.
Not me.
Not a reasonable facsimile,
not a carbon copy.

I am astonished daily.

So many (false) ideas.
I grew up around babies
pregnant women
home birth
new life,

And yet I was so unprepared
for the change that would take place
the moment
I held my first born
whispered her name.

The hardest change?
The day the ground shook?

Not one child to two
or three
or four …

The hardest was at the very beginning.

It was crossing over the threshold,
meeting my first born face to face.
Realizing that nothing would ever be the same about my life again.

How sweet it is.
How scary it is.

Soul shaking.

The most startling thing about parenthood
is not the way I change and influence them,
the way my children change
and influence me.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. DawnJoy says:

    What a special poem. I love it. It touched me. Thanks, Dawn

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