MamaBlogger365: Teen Rising by Valerie Poulin

You read a novel, a fictional story by one of your favorite authors while your son sits across the room. He is illustrating a poem for Language class. In your day, they called the subject “English,” but many things have changed since you were his age. This is just one of them.

It is unusual for him to sit quietly and concentrate for long. Athletes do not do well sitting in a chair. This worries you in the way that parents look for reasons to worry about their children.

Moments later, you sit cross from him at the dining room table, after pushing a heap of half-read newspapers, unsigned permission forms, pencil cases, the kid’s artwork, crumpled and torn, to one end.

You want to hold the brevity of this 11-year-old boy for as long as you can, but you know it is not possible. Before this, your days passed in work-a-day tasks and generalities. Daily life, they say. You wait in the chair, until silence no longer holds.

You ask your son, “Do you like to draw?”

His head moves slightly with such little motion that you watch closely when you ask again.

“Do you like to draw?” You ask, again. This time you turn your eyes to the window, to show you are not really interested in knowing the answer.

“Good,” you say quietly. “We’ll have something to talk about when you are a teenager.”

A technical writer by trade, Valerie (Poulin) Bean writes and publishes non-fiction and poetry in her spare time. She lives with her family outside Toronto, Canada where she edits articles at Minor.Hockey.Life, and occasionally writes fiction. Valerie is book author and an internationally published poet whose work has appeared in literary periodicals, micro-press journals, and anthologies. Read more about her work at

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  1. […] stories about re-framing motherhood. We are so grateful to *Dr Mama* Amber Kinser, Mary Rekosh, Valerie Poulin, Jennifer Flaten, Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow for their blog posts this […]

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