Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Thirteenth Birthday Letters

In 1993, I wrote a letter to my first-born grandchild. He had just turned thirteen. Thus, a tradition was born, that of writing special letters to my grandchildren for their thirteenth birthday. That has continued, as each one became a teenager. And finally, October 23, 2006, the youngest of six turned thirteen. I wrote the last of those special letters to her. I say the last, because I cannot duplicate the circumstances for which I wrote the letter in the first place. After all, one only turns thirteen once in a lifetime.


When my first grandchild was born, it was a very exciting event in our family. He was a super star sensation. He claimed all our attention, after all he was the first. And, I was still a young man. It was about that time in my life that I began writing. First a mediocre poem or two, then progressing to perhaps more sophisticated poetry and writings (certainly my opinion and it does reflect the core beliefs of this writer). Each succeeding birth of a grandchild was no less exciting than the first. Each brought special qualities to their parents and especially to their grandparents.  But I stray off point.  


In these thirteenth birthday letters, I wrote about them no longer being teenagers, about the circumstances and situations that would come into their lives and offering my unasked for advice for dealing with those events. Not that my advice was of any earth-shattering proportions, but it was from my heart. In each of those letters, I spoke about the love of their parents. And, about a faith in God.


Recently, I reminded one of my granddaughters on her 21st birthday, of her letter and she remarked that she still had it in her possession. That was my goal, for each to someday, read it to their children and grandchildren. Each of my grandchildren still has those special qualities I spoke of earlier. Their individuality shines through. Who knows, it may spark a desire in each of them about their future.


Well, the reason I write this today is that my youngest granddaughter is graduating from high school. I am very happy to know that all my grandchildren have now graduated from high school. I am very proud of each one, as are their parents.

I am also very proud of their parents as well, for instilling in them a sense of direction, of completion and of striving for excellence. A grandfather knows these things.


It is noteworthy that just as the thirteenth birthday letter tradition ended, so too does another milestone pass. Life is a series of milestones at we arrive, even almost daily. Birth, first day of school, driver’s license, last day of school, career, marriage, then we start the cycle all over again, only this time we get to see it from a different perspective.


My years have begun to add up. When I was a thirteen-year old boy, I never fathomed that I would be a grandfather, much less a great grandfather. (Soon to be twice!). I was too busy being a teenager.  

I still have one grandchild who is a teenager, albeit not for much longer. As she graduates and enters the next phase of her life, she can be assured of one thing, her grandfather’s love and admiration. And just as her cousins have passed this baton, she too will make her parents and grandfather very proud. And before I forget, I am now a proud great grandfather and am expecting another in November. I hope I can begin writing thirteenth birthday letters again. In 2023, I will only be a young eighty-five years old. Now that will be a milestone.


Have a great day.


June 2, 2012

Penetrating Eyes

It comes around each year about this time. A special day set aside to honor our mothers. We should not need a special day for honoring our mothers, yet it is significant for without mothers, where would that leave us.  

Woodrow Wilson declared the first official proclamation of a Mother ’s Day in 1914. My mother was born three years earlier. There is a history as when the day first began. It started actually back in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, as a means to rally the women of the day to help those recovering from the Civil War. But I will leave that research to you, the reader to discern what you wish.  

I merely want to pay tribute to my mother and to the mothers around the globe. I wrote this poem in 2008. I hope children everywhere will take note, perhaps identify with certain phrases, but above all, honor your mothers.  They deserve all the accolades. But be cautious, they have eyes in the back of their head.


 Penetrating Eyes


There she sits, arms folded, watching.

Her face reflecting the light from her eyes.

Those penetrating eyes,

Eyes we knew when we were children,

Eyes that see through bedroom walls,

Around corners, from the back of her head,

Penetrating eyes.


Arms unfolding, she waits, patiently,

inviting that special touch. With calmness,

She reaches outward, holding tightly,

We, who are her children,

We, who sought to dodge those arms

when our wrongdoings caught those

Penetrating eyes.


In her essence, there beats a heart,

A big heart, one that allows entry to all,

especially her children,

With arms that reach to hug

With a heart full of feeling

and eyes that show love,

Penetrating eyes,


Blessed with her God-given talents

 She tenderly nurtures her children

In Wisdom to share her faith,

In Faith to share her Christ.

And the eyes of Christ

                    look lovingly at this Mother,                        

 With penetrating eyes. 

This woman, this mother, my Mother.


                                                              Pete Robertson                                                                        May 13, 2012             

        Happy Mother’s Day, 2012, God Bless You

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