The Preemie Mom Poem (Warning: dry eyes cannot be had in the face of this, please read with tissues handy!)


This little tearjerker was given to me years ago and I just came across it again in some old boxes and had to share. Though it says “Preemie Mom”, I think that all of my lovely moms out there that are raising atypical wonders can relate! I had no idea the first time that I read it how much of it would come to fruition and how so much truth is buried in the simplistic wording. I hope you enjoy it nearly as much as I did.

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen~*~
(Erma Bombeck)

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. “Give her a preemie.”

The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”

“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”

“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.

“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”

“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”

God smiles. “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has just the right amount of selfishness.”

The angel gasps, “Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?”

God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see– ignorance, cruelty, prejudice– and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”

Thank you, God, for choosing me.

Childhood Development Parenting Parenting and Childhood Development


Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

4 Comments Leave a comment

    • I remember reading it when Jp was tiny and thinking it seemed a bit “much”. Like maybe it more applicable to autism or some other type of disorder but not preemies. I threw the card in a box and never thought of it again.

      Yesterday when I read it again after everything that has happened, I openly wept. It was all so true (well, except the looking in the mirror part lol). What a difference a few years makes!

  1. My husband posted this on my facebook saying this was written for me. I’m not sure about that, but we were blessed with 3 boys that have autism. They are teenagers now, and I think that I understand this better now than I would have when they were little. They have been pure joy for us, but we have had to battle for them, and rejoice in their accomplishments. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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