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423 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a poem about a mom not having enough time for her baby and how she regrets it when she's older. At the beginning it talks about how the child would want the mom to read a picture book, and the mom shooed him away because she had other "more important" things to do. At the end of the poem, it goes something along the lines of "my hands once busy, now are still -- I wish I could go back and do the little things you asked me to."

My mom used to have this poem on her fridge and I don't think it's there and she can't remember the name of it. Anyone know?


423 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Nevermind, I just found it online. Here it is if anyone wants to read it, since I brought it up. I think I need to show this to a few of my in laws. I hope I'm not breaking any rules by doing this.

My Hands Were Busy

My hands were busy throughout the day
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I'd say: "A little later, son."
I'd tuck you in all safe an night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door...
I wished I'd stayed a minute more.
For time is short, the years rush past...
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear...
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.

Author Unknown

100 Posts
That is great. It made me cry...I'll have to print it out for the fridge. Here is one I wrote in my daughter's journal - can't remember where it came from:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Sob sob sob....

664 Posts
The "quiet down cobwebs" one is actually the end of a longer poem called "Song for a Fifth Child:"

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby.
Babies don't keep.

-Ruth Hubert Hamilton
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