On Making My Teenage Daughter's Bed

Thank you for your patience with the timing of my poems! I am still learning how to use the Mail Chimp server :)

It is so hard sometimes to know when to let our fully capable teenagers take care of themselves and when to keep parenting them! This picture doesn't do my bed making skills justice!

On Making My Teenage Daughter’s Bed Every Morning

I try convincing my girl to hang up
the outfits she discards on the floor,
to take a few moments each day
to put away jewelry and makeup,
to gather the splayed papers she’s stayed up late studying.
I tell her a made bed is one of the indicators
of a successful person,
argue rumpled sheets, a crumpled spirit,
that depression will surely follow.

It seems invasive
to walk over the little burrows
of dirty and clean clothes,
intrusive to nudge closed the gaping tennis bag,
to step around the pajamas that still yawn with sleep,
incestuous to notice
the panties and bras on the floor.

I often kick the piles into one central heap,
at times gather the tissues near the bed
and toss them along with empty wrappers.
I turn on her crystal salt lamp,
like Snow White might as she tidies,
wishing safety for the dwarfs off at the mines.

No longer handpicking her friends for playdates,
nor helping her with chemistry homework,
not having to drive her to school or activities,
unable to navigate the seas of social media
upon which she surfs,
I do so little after years
of meeting her every need.

I soothe myself I am still relevant
as I tug on her blankets,
fluff and nest her pillows,
smooth the beach on her wild island,
all the while worrying I am enabling and nosy,
wondering if she minds my meddling.

Until recently
when she said casually
I like it when you make my bed.
With that one sentence,
I no longer fret that
I give her younger siblings an extra kiss
and occasionally pack a lunch
for my twenty-year-old who is about to move out.
I stopped slinking as I secure
her postage-stamp queendom,
now purge and plump her room with purpose,
knowing my once-little-princess
understands my offering.