WILLA v2 - Winning

Volume 2
Fall 1993


"Don't let him outgrow you,"
They warned me in the '50's,
When I put you through school.
"Keep up," they said,
"Or you'll be dull,
With only children for company.
Then he'll leave."
I heeded the advice.

I kept the children quiet
While you took tough courses,
Typed your papers, sympathized
When you took your Orals,
And put all our lives on hold
While you finished your Ph.D.

At last, with the children in school,
I got to go to college, too.
No one warned me
About my own growth.

I passed my courses
While I managed Girl Scout cookie sales,
Composed papers
While I held a sick child,
Studied for Orals
While I entertained your mother,
And finished my Ph.D.
While struggling against
Your dying interest.

Then you said, "Goodbye.
You're not the person I married."
Well, hell no!
But you
Didn't outgrow me!

by Norma Hayes Bagnall

NORMA HAYES BAGNALL began college at age 39 and her teaching career at age 50. She is Professor in the Department of English at Missouri Western State College and is past president of the Children's Literature Association.

Copyright 1993, The Women in Literature and Life Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080). Permission is given to copy any article provided credit is given and the copies are not intended for resale.

Reference Citation : Bagnall, Norma Hayes. (1993). Winning. WILLA , Volume II, 9.