Twenty-thousand meals. 

That’s about how many meals

I have planned, prepared

and served

to feed my offspring,

beginning with feeding

myself and children in

Is it healthy?

Is it nourishing?

Will they eat it?

Are they fed?
They survived

infancy and dangerous 


Some time ago

they became capable 

of feeding themselves 

and they often 

do so. 
They are annoyed 

that I worry

about the food they

eat or 

don’t eat. 
But, that doesn’t stop

my planning, 

that calculus of concern,

wanting them to 

and imagining 

their twilight years

in good health

based on their 

early life. 

They are fledging now

and sometimes truly

out of the nest. 

And now, I am being 

not as much 

swooping-in, like

a mother bird

focused on


and choosing every day

ways I can thrive 

and live,

and with hope in many

more evenings

with family, and old and 

new friends 

around the 

dinner table. 
©Laurie Lynn Newman 


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