Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children

Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children
by John Updike

They will not be the same next time. The sayings
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.
Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in
the more securely to the worldly buzz
of television, alphabet, and street talk,
culture polluting their gazes' pure blue.
It makes you see at last the value of
those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells
of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces
like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)
who knew you from the start, when you were zero,
cooing their nothings before you could be bored
or knew a name, not even your own, or how
this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.

found via Judith at Misrule (not on her blog, she posted the link on Facebook).


  1. I meant to post it on the blog and I forgot!

  2. i just went to the beach with my family and rin and rob-who is now nearly four btw! Can you remember when he was born : ) time flies. i have been feeling so very nostalgic about nieces in sydney who say good bye to me so often, then hello to an 11 yr old britt this time, who is so pre-teenish. yet, i remember her baby soft and warm sleeping in my arms like it was yesterday! so reading this matched my mood. only I could be this nostalgic over other people's kids as well as my own growing boys : )
    hope you are doing okay penn, x

  3. Yep indeed a topic of conversation today (many days) of soaking up the days of now while frustrating in so many respects so amazing and beautiful and sweet and innocent in others .. :) X

  4. Anonymous7:22 AM

    That was the sadness I felt when my first went to school. We were no longer their guardians or their translators between the family and the world.

  5. Oh, and I'd just managed a day WITHOUT crying!

    Still, better to be for nice reasons.

    Luka is 4 weeks old now.