A Poem for Parents of Sons

When I did the keynote address at CANSCAIP’s Packaging Your Imagination conference a few years ago, I included in my talk a number of poems that have been favourites at different times in my life. Here’s one that didn’t make it into “An Intimate Examination of Sock Fluff”. I think it came to mind recently for two reasons:

  1. I now have two grandsons almost as old as my son was when this poem first spoke to me.
  1. My son is now himself anticipating becoming the father of a son.

Thanks, Sheree Fitch, for permission to quote your poem here.

My son is in the bathroom shavingComing of Age

My son is in the bathroom shaving
the water runs. I hear the scrape
across his upper lip, the rinse, the tap
three times on the side of the sink
which makes me wonder if this is some
primordial or innate rhythm all men
are born to repeat this razor tapping
male music ritual.

I wonder this of course
so I won’t stop to wonder
how it is this child of mine
grew this hair upon his face
it wasn’t much a newspaper smudge
of a must ache
but he told me it was time

It is time
that I am weeping for
how once this child
whose every body part was mine
to clean and tend to
is now a young man
who locks the bathroom door

For those interested in reading more of Sheree’s poems for adults, this one is from her book, In this house are many women.

Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on October 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Although my boys didn't enter my life until they were too old for me to look after "every body part" I found this poem very heart-warming. How exciting to think that another little boy will be joining the family!

  2. Kathy Stinson on October 7, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Yes! And today is his second birthday. Happy birthday to Daniel!

  3. Janet Barclay on October 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I knew it was this month, but didn't realize it was today! It's interesting how often family birthdays are close together. 🙂

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