Responsible Parent

When you were a child,
    I was responsible
        For you.

I fed you so you would not starve.
    I clothed you so you would not freeze.
        I housed you so you would be safe.
            I protected you so you would not be harmed.

When you were a youngster,
    I taught you how to be responsible
        For yourself.

You fed yourself.
    You clothed yourself.
        You had your room where you were safe.
            You protected yourself from harm.

Now you are a young adult,
    And I must teach you how to be responsible
        For others.

You must feed your sister.
    You must clothe your brother.
        You must keep our home safe.
            You must protect your siblings from harm.

Soon you will be a parent,
    And you will teach responsibility.

I hope you find it in your heart

    To be responsible
        Without taking responsibility away
            From those you love;

    To care for your children
        Without needing to control
            Or be controlled;

    To be responsible
        For teaching your children
            To be responsible.