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The Play's the Thing
Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

Forgive me, Lord,
for all the tasks
that went undone today.
But this morning when my child
toddled in and asked, “Mommy play?”
I simply had to say yes.
And between the puzzles and trucks
and blocks and dolls and old hats and
books and giggles,
we shared a thousand special thoughts,
a hundred hopes and dreams and hugs.
And tonight, when prayer time came
and he folded his hands and softly whispered,
“Thank you, God, for Mommy and Daddy and
toys and french fries, but ‘specially
for Mommy playing,”
I knew it was a day well wasted.
And I knew You’d understand.

From A New Mother's Prayers (Pocket Books, 1989 and 1996, and Loyola Press, 2004).
This poem also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul (HCI, 1997).
Used here with the author's permission.


Jayne Jaudon Ferrer is the author of four books of poetry that focus on family life, one of which has remained consistently in print for more than twenty years. An award-winning copywriter and freelance journalist, Ferrer speaks frequently at women’s and book events; her poetry and articles have appeared in publications ranging from Boca Raton Magazine to Christian Parenting Today. Jayne lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with her husband, three sons, two dogs, and eight chickens. Poetry makes her happy, as do flowers, old movies, good music, and hikes in the Blue Ridge mountains. Learn more about her at


Post New Comment:
Simply wonderful! I'm going to send it to my daughter who is in this time of her life.
Posted 05/04/2011 02:16 PM
nadia ibrashi:
A poem that matters to me and all mothers.
Posted 05/04/2011 11:35 AM
Joe Sottile:
A wonderful poem with Mother's Day around the corner...I love the line: "Mommy play?" It reminds me again of "I do! I do!" and "Do again, Daddy! Do again!" Thank you, Jayne.
Posted 05/04/2011 11:21 AM
Great memories of play time with my mom, grandmothers and many wonderful aunts. They taught me the importance of giving an intangible gift that lasts forever!!! Great job Jane!!
Posted 05/04/2011 10:23 AM
Jayne, It's always been one of my favorites too. And how thoughtful to print the photo of those "big boys" with their little boy hearts. A wonderful Mother's Day gift. Thank you.
Posted 05/04/2011 10:22 AM
Finally! we get to see a poem of yours, Jayne--and a lovely one, for sure..thanks for it, and for all you do for poetry and us poets! (great photo!) ~Sharon Auberle
Posted 05/04/2011 09:07 AM
I love it!! Thanks for sharing it with us mothers and grandmothers out here!
Posted 05/04/2011 08:26 AM
Ah,yes, "Mommy play?" Who could resist? Crafty moves there, including the Hamlet line. Bravo, Jayne!
Posted 05/04/2011 08:14 AM
Great poem, Jayne! My favorite part is "a day well wasted."
Posted 05/04/2011 07:57 AM
love the photo too!
Posted 05/04/2011 07:03 AM
Have you read Marina Jenkyns' book on dramatherapy with the same title (1996)? It is brilliant! How beneficial 'a day well wasted' can be.
Posted 05/04/2011 05:46 AM

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