Dear Amelia

“Dear Amelia” was published in the summer 2021 issue of Bella Grace magazine.

Dear Amelia,
You have made me appreciate red wine,
pink champagne,
and the true spirits of tomato and orange juice
more than ever.

Dear Amelia,
Thank you for giving me an excuse
to take naps in the middle of the day
and for making me take the spring semester off;
I didn’t want to take those lit classes anyway.

Dear Amelia,
You have given me an outie
where there used to be an innie,
and it’s weird.

Dear Amelia,
Thank you for giving me a reason to replace
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
and the excuse to reread it;
to play peek-a-boo,
to teach you baby sign language,
to cut up the moon for you,
to show you that you don’t have to do it all
to have it all,
to show you that you can do anything a boy can do
(but that you don’t have to),
and to tell you about the people I wish you could know
and who I wish could know you.

Dear Amelia,
You have kicked me when I am down
(for the night),
but I don’t mind,
for it lets me know you are still there.

Dear Amelia,
Thank you for showing me how much
I can love someone I’ve never met
but know is there—
who I love even more than I love myself
(and that’s a lot!).

Dear Amelia,
You took your sweet time getting here,
yet you came at seemingly the perfect time,
for who I am now
is better than who I’ve ever been.

Dear Amelia,
Thank you for giving me another chance to do this . . . all over again.

Dear Amelia,
It took a while to get your name just right,
but know that what we chose to call you
was not to honor anyone but you.

Dear Amelia,
Thank you for coming to be a sister to my other little girl,
who will need you and share your toys for you from time to time.

Dear Amelia,
Enjoy the abundance of the girl who beat you to it
and who will be more than happy to share hers—
especially the Calico Critter house with the dog-eared bunnies.
Don’t mind their shabby appearance,
for they have endured the play of Hurricane Hannah.
Let her show you how milk makes the best bubbles,
how you can sound like an elephant if you blow your nose hard enough,
and how to play pretend with anything.

Dear Amelia,
Let this other little girl tell you what you have missed,
even as you will experience things she will miss.
Share your stories.
When your dad and I have gone,
stay close to her,
for no one else will have the same memories of us
that you two will.

Dear Amelia,
You are ready to meet the world,
but is the world ready to meet you?

Dear Amelia,
Thank you for showing the world
that even in times
of pandemics and all manner of upheaval,
life goes on,
for babies are still being born.
Children are precious,
for they are the future.

That said,
Dear Amelia,
I am so glad your lease is up on January 15, 2021—
with the prerequisite grace period, of course.

And always remember,
Dear Amelia,
that just as you will leave my body,
I will someday leave your life.
And I pray that I will have given you everything you need
to take care of yourself
(and hopefully others),
so take care,
and we will see you soon.

But most of all,
Dear Amelia,
remember that whatever you choose to do
may not be essential to the world,
but it will be essential to you,
for it will give you purpose and provide for you
and any who may come after you.
Know that you do not have to know
what it is you want to do
at the same time as everyone else,
for lifelong learning
includes learning about yourself.
Find your quiet place,
where you can take the time to reflect,
for when you know yourself,
you can be yourself,
Miss Amelia Skye.

Letter to my daughter

My epistolary poem, “Miss Amelia Skye” (“Dear Amelia”) was just published in Bella Grace magazine. Amy Krause Rosenthal’s book, Dear Girl, was the inspiration behind the format. I have since created a Mixbook of this poem for my daughter (who will be turning 5 months in a few days); this book will go into a time capsule for her to open at the stroke of midnight in the year 2042 (which will make her 21, if my math is correct). 🙂

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From Spring To Spring: My work-study experience

It was at the end of the fall semester of 2016 that I applied for a work-study position in the English and Communications Department at my college.

My ENC1102 professor, whose class I had just taken, worked in the office. I thought he was wonderful and we had a good rapport, so I figured he’d put in a good word for me.

As a little something extra, I brought the latest issue of Bella Grace magazine in which my poem had been published.  I wanted to show that I was the real story, the genuine article (puns intended)–that I loved what they loved.

I say, there is something about showing your professor your accomplishment that pertains to their field of expertise that makes you all glowy. It’s sort of like making your parents proud. Maybe the kid inside us never grows up.  Even though I live in my own home, with a husband and child, I still don’t quite feel like a grown-up–I just happen to be mature for my age.

*

For four semesters, I worked with four awesome people (and met many more awesome people)–people who were there for me during the most difficult times in my life.  In the transient world of restaurant and retail, I felt my work-study family was my first true “work family.”

*

This spring, I took two math classes so I could stay on one last semester.  (If you are scheduled for less than six credit hours in your major, you are ineligible for the program.) Even though that was totally nuts, leading me to spent eighty-plus hours in the math lab, I completed my greatest accomplishment: I passed both classes with B’s.

For me, that’s just about as good as it gets.

*

Work-studying in my favorite department (History, Language, and Social Sciences would’ve been my second choice) gave me time to think about just what it was I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

It was my Benjamin Braddock moment–without the complication of a Mrs. Robinson (or, in my case, a Mr. Robinson. I am married, after all).

Though I will likely have to commence my professional career as a medical assistant, it was because I went back to school to major in Health Information Technology that I learned that there is a place for me in the professional writing world, beyond journalism, beyond literature.

There are needs to be filled, and I know where to look for them now.

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