Thursday, June 14, 2018


There’s a backstory, a story and side story on this one.

The Backstory:

Do you remember being thirteen? The swarming/fluxing, irrational, sometimes manic, feelings of emancipation/uncertainty mixed liberally with bravado/timidity? Alternating levels of adultness and childishness?

Thirteen is a special kind of rite of passage and very few humans get to sail through without at least some kind of challenge to angst filled change. Mostly rising hormones are to blame but there’s also a large dose of the fledgling syndrome added to the fray - little bird compelled to try its wings with gusto and share with the world everything it’s gotten thus far.

As long ago as it was, (let’s skip the jokes about the Dark Ages please) I do recall the year I survived being thirteen. And because I am old I can also recount living through two more seasons of thirteen via my own children and then yet again through theirs - for pete’s sake! 

Times change, culture shifts, words and perceptions are redefined, but thirteen is something of a predictable unavoidable test, I think. However, in this super hyper connected, digital world, I fear it is tougher now than it used to be. There are treacherous conditions I didn’t have to deal with as I was navigating through the uncharted waters just beyond the safe harbor of childhood that today’s young teens must be prepared for. Most are not prepared, though, because thirteen sneaks up on you, for one thing, and young kids are exposed to so much nowadays they give off the illusion of being older than their years long before thirteen appears so there’s a blindspot. 

I don’t know where this is going or how it will end. I just know that the poet/lyricist in me wanted to call out and focus on all that being thirteen is.  

The Side Story:

Sometimes, when you are doing something, a serendipitous moment happens, that thing you didn’t plan but it inserts itself on its own as though it was part of the process all along. 

One day, working on this project, I was recording a practice run with my ukulele and just as I hit record, a mockingbird, sitting on the chimney, started its repertoire. I didn’t mind, since it was just a practice run. But then when I played it back I was stunned how well it fit - I do love serendipity because sometimes it’s better than anything you could think of on your own. 

So, here’s the story - Thirteen - A Lullaby

you were there for just a moment
though it seemed to last forever
there was too much and then not enough
every kind of now or never

you were bursting full of fearless
though you often seemed unsteady
there was all you knew and didn’t
and those days you weren’t so ready  - ‘cause

thirteen’s just a number
in the middle of beginning
not old enough to stand alone
just a glimpse of things still pending

you were sure you had the answers
you believed in your own reason
but the questions left in silence
waited for another season  

thirteen’s just a number
in the middle of beginning
not old enough to stand alone
one foot steady           
one foot bending

For Him,


  1. Oh, this is so lovely.
    One of my babies turned 19 yesterday, and I'm trying to figure out the logistics of how this could have happened!

    1. LOL! Wait til your grandson turns 19 - you'll start to feel as though you have entered the twilight zone. Just unreal! :-)

  2. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. The times of change come whether we like it or not = and whether we want them to or not. But we are blessed when we do not have to go there alone!