The Lesson

1939 Young Ian

Now parents are a special breed
They’re always on the go,
I’m sure that we are all agreed
They always seem to know
When children need their counsel wise
For mischief they will make,
Children learn to their surprise
When caught in their mistake

But parents also like to teach
Their children proper ways,
A sermon they’ll be wont to preach
When child’s attention strays
To things which make the neighbours mad
And tongues begin to wag,
A child must learn what’s good and bad
And an appropriate gag

So Mother took her son in hand
And read from the Good Book,
A perfect child is what she planned
As he instruction took,
He’d be unselfish in his ways
She’d train him very well,
And if he from instruction strays
His face would on him tell.

One day she planned a birthday treat
She’d put him to a test,
A party place where friends could meet
And nothing but the best;
There’d be some drinks and birthday cake
With treats to hand to all,
And little things the friends could take
When parents came to call

Then Mother took her son aside
And told him what to do,
To be unselfish, be a guide,
For friends learn lessons too.
And no one likes a selfish man
Be generous with all things,
So share your blessings when you can
Feel joy your giving brings

Mom handed him a box of sweets
And bid him hand them out,
He smiled when handing out his treats
To children’s joyful shout,
But when he placed his hand inside
His noble gesture done
“There’s nothing left for me,” he cried,
The party wasn’t fun!

He thought of Mother’s lesson then
And glanced at empty hand,
But no one seemed to notice when
His selfish fires fanned,
The lesson took a quick remake
He went to quench his thirst
And when his Mother brought the cake
He took his helping first!

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2013, all rights reserved”

13 thoughts on “The Lesson

  1. Ian,
    I like a poem with rhyme even if some ‘moderns’ shun the format. It takes longer to write doens’t it? I find the meter and rhyme very appropritae to a poem about a lessson of youth. I suspect that many adults have memories such as tihs one and it is good to see it imortalised in poetic form.
    Austin, Texas


    1. Hi Jane. Writing in any form should be a pleasurable task and it is for me. My life has accommodated both good and bad events and I think its appropriate to remember both and put those thoughts to pen. Its a way of cleansing the mind or adding pleasure to the day as one ploughs through the menial tasks. As I do my occasional walk around blog world I see free form poetry is mostly in favour. I can appreciate that but somehow gravitate toward rhyme. It is hard, and that’s because English is a mix of the Germanic and Latin based languages with a bit of Sanskrit thrown into the mix now and then. For example, Lady Luck the English refer to is actually the goddess Laxmi, patron of wealth. For that reason rhyming is more difficult than perhaps Spanish. Nice to have your comment.


  2. Love, love the poem sweet Ian. Your facial features have not changed all that much. Sorry you didn’t get a piece of candy but I bet you enjoyed that birthday cake. You had a great mom, she taught you well my sweet friend. Hugs


    1. My Mom was so much fun. Maybe we were not rich in money terms but we had a wealth of love in the home that made it a place of refuge and pleasure. My parents were great role models too and I miss them very much. They taught us there was nothing we could not achieve if we had the will and were willing to work for it.


  3. Ian, I love this poem and I am glad you got your piece of cake. I had sandals like this, I remember them well and how my Mum was there when we came home from school…thank you. Jane 🙂


  4. Great poem! Thanks for sharing. loved the “father of the bride” clip and the one on the airplane. Esther


  5. Well Ian,

    I see the sandals you wore – I actually had a somewhat identical pair – and white too! Mothers, they all think alike.

    As a kid I can understand your disappointment. But it is only right that you got first bite of the cake – so don’t beat yourself with that sandal 🙂

    I get the greater picture you painted.

    Seeing the “behaviour” (read, misbehaviour) of children now – one wonders who teaches them especially in Singapore, where both parents work to “make ends meet” (read, we need to keep up with the Tan’s).

    When our children came along, Lisa and I made a conscious decision. Because I had the potential to earn more, she stayed home and nurtured the kids. We lowered our “standard of living” and did not take any vacation for about 7 years – but seeing how our children are turning out – right decision!

    Thank you for this sharing, Ian.



    1. Very cool sandals! lol. Something else we have in common, sandals! You made a wise choice in allowing Lisa the privilege of being home for the children as they grew. It makes quite a difference and there is a bonding that takes place which other families don’t have where both of the parents have to work for the family to survive. I have no criticism for them as circumstances do not always allow for the ideal in life. Most times it’s a choice between bad alternatives isn’t it? Both my girls are stay at home Mothers and will do so until the children are of age to make mature decisions.


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