Tonight, why not make some intentional space to sit down on the couch or at the kitchen table with your kids and write a poem?
Write a poem, you say?! I couldn’t do that.
But you can! And here’s how.
This downloadable (and free!) template has blanks with prompts (kind of sort of like a MadLib but not) to guide you through helping your child, or even yourself, think through where you are from.
Don’t overthink it; just fill in the blanks.
No one else is from exactly where you are from! Your perspective is unique. Your son’s or daughter’s perspective is unique. And it might surprise you!
One evening a few weeks ago, Faith and I sat down to write her poem. My heart smiled when she wrote “big green washtub” to fill in the very first blank (representing “an everyday item in your home.”). And when she said she is from “the little white bridge” just off the Messiah College campus where her daddy and I knew we would be together for life, she said with a disgusted tone that she “felt” us looking at each other.
This tells me two things that I probably wouldn’t have known: First, that she remembers growing up in Indonesia and taking baths in the huge green washtub that I filled in our kitchen from the five-gallon bucket water filter because babies almost drink bathwater. And second, that she is paying attention to the stories that are part of who she is.
Filling in the blanks with just one item per blank is great and is all that is needed but if you can get them to think of more answers or can get answers from more than one child it could get even better!
If you do it yourself, you could add in emotive words too and then your poem becomes deeper and more colorful.
- It is meant to sound disjointed. This is not a practice in perfectionism and perfect poetry writing. Just let go and have fun!
- It’s meant to be a fun relationship-building time so remember to be sensitive about the way in which you make suggestions for things to write in the blanks. Especially consider the age of your children. Faith is turning 13 next month. It took me too long to figure out that if I didn’t keep quiet, she was going to be done with the “fun” project.
Prime the pump, don’t clog it!
What is your child’s perspective on where he or she came from? You could find out today!
When you are done, would you share it with me? I would so much love to celebrate you and your child’s creativity with you! You can post it to the comments below.
If you didn’t catch the template link above, here it is again.
When I did mine, it helped to read another person’s poem to get an idea of where it was going. Continue reading for Faith’s poem and read mine here.
I AM FROM
I am from big green washtubs, water-filled baks, and gray river rocks.
From white office tiles and an old-fashioned doorbell.
I’m from the rolling-hilled valley and the lush rainforest.
I am from an ultimate greaser and his Scottish lass, the little white bridge and a roommate’s crush.
From first answers, silly one-liners, and inside jokes.
I’m from road trip bread stops, air-exchanged lungs, and sad lullabies.
From Halloween camping in pink popup campers.
I am from Chambersburg and Scottish shores, from yellow rice and Friday-night pizza.
From “naked Caleb” and his dripping wet clothes.
I am from paint-by-numbers and from a little white dog with wild eyes and a red bowtie.