“Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

As a child, I took for granted all the time I had in the palms of my hands. The days were long stretches of endless possibilities. And, I lackadaisically drank up the time. I filled my days with reading and playing, and neglecting thoughts of the future.

Now, I’m no longer a child. I have children of my own.

I miss those days. Life was much simpler.

Today is my son’s 12th birthday, and I can’t believe so much time has gone by in a blink of an eye. My favorite poem by Langston Hughes has always been “Mother to Son,” even when I was a child. Now that I have a son, the poem is so much more powerful. This poem is dedicated to my son.

Happy Birthday Isma’il.

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Mother to Son
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Langston Hughes

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2 Replies to ““Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.””

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