My son Michael is your typical 12 year old boy. He loves to fish and go shooting with his dad. He loves playing video games and spending time with friends. But occasionally something comes over him…I find him reading a book, usually something Harry Potteresque, and he is stricken by the urge to write. Much like his mother, writing comes naturally.
When certain opportunities present themselves I enjoy taking the time to teach my kids about life…why it is I tell them not to run with scissors or, in this case, the lesson about choices. You see, I teach my children that they are responsible for their lives through the choices they make. From what they eat in the morning for breakfast to how they choose to dress themselves for school, each decision they make will effect thier lives in either a positve way or a negative way…and only THEY have the power to make those choices. Consequently, choices come with a heck of a lot of responsibility. Say you choose to eat a slab of chocolate cake for breakfast…then you also choose to have a stomach ache and a major sugar crash about 2 hours later, right? If you choose to wear an Ohio State t-shirt (BTW GO BUCKS!) here in Gator country then you also choose to be made fun of,no? Although we all know who really rocks the house, you just can’t get away with being a Buckeye in Gator country without at least a few reprocussions. Well, after reading Michael’s poem the other night I was thrilled to know he was actually listening to me the day I gave the lecture on choice making. Finally, something I said made it past the Playstation and the cheese doodles and into his lunkin’ head! My work here is done. No, seriously…I am so proud of this poem for many reasons. It tells so much about my son’s character and makes me hopeful when I think of the impact this young man could potentially have on his generation. You read it and decide for yourselves. I’m sure Michael would love to know what you think!
Michael’s Star Poem
If an artist makes a picture out of words, does it mean that it isn’t art?
Or if two people are blood relatives but don’t get along, is it the other’s fault for being different?
When you trip and fall, it’s not the stone’s fault.
And if you act in a fool-hardy way, is it the bystander’s fault for staring?
When you make a mistake, don’t go blaming others.
Is it not you who made the mistake?
And when you choose to do wrong, you alone have made the decision.
Not me, not the rock, not the artist, not the relative.
If I made this into a circle instead of a star, that is my choice and mine alone.
When the waves rise and destroy your sandcastle, do not blame the water.
For it was you who made it where the waves could damage it.
And if the wind blows and makes you cold, it is not the wind’s fault.
You chose alone not to prepare.
And is it the snow’s fault for making the leaves on the trees die?
So as the artist draws and the wind blows and the people watch and the waves crash and the rock sits and the family is different…life is life.
And it will take it’s course.
You have no one to blame but yourself for your own actions.
So be it.
-Written by Michael Warner, 12 years old
- Cupcakes Anyone?
- Live well, shall we?