Here’s another scavenger hunt topic. “Write a poem or prose incorporating the following sentence: I’ve loved you since before you were born.”


and your crazy-amazing
round blue eyes
convinced that you love me more
than I love you
(the grand total now is “google plus one hundred”)
and you just know that you love me better.
the debate could last for…

but I’m not as patient as I’d like
so mostly – I let you win
because I know when I leave the room
I can have the final word

I’ve loved you since before you were born –
before those blue-to-infinity eyes looked into mine,
my hand on my tight rounding belly felt a mystery
movement inside of me
that I couldn’t control or predict
your then-tiny feet made me smile

your heart beating somewhere below mine
at first the sound of hope
and then…
and finally a releasing of the dream of you-
who may never even breathe in my arms.

four years later (no – make that five)
never-tiring you with so many words
round and round
in a bedtime discussion
-or walking to the mail-
you who can always one-up the number…
(is love measured in numbers?)
maybe you don’t know it yet, but…
I can always win
because when it’s all said and done,

I’ve loved you longer.

This may be my favorite thing I’ve written. I reread it and I picture Avery sitting on the counter in the camp kitchen, “helping” me cut up vegetables or make a dessert. And talking constantly. And then she grew up and left me for elementary school.

There’s just something about the baby of the family. It’s not that they’re any more special, or that you love them any more than the others. But maybe… you take the time to savor them more. I used to hate getting up with my babies in the night – when they didn’t need anything, just wanted to be soothed back to sleep. Until Avery. At some point I realized that we were almost done with that phase. Any night might be the last one that I had the chance to hold her in the darkness and rock her until she relaxed and her breathing became slow and even. That’s when I started to savor the moments.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if I could have had that attitude with my other babies…

One thing I did learn with my first baby was that I could say I love you as many times as I wanted and he wouldn’t get tired of it. My babies heard those words a lot. And now they say them back to me. My boys are still pretty good about saying “I love you too.” But every once in a while, one of them will say it first, “I love you, mom.” That’s pretty much the best thing ever.

And the girls do still try to convince me that they love me more. And even though they try to pretend they’re offended that I’ll always win… I secretly think they don’t mind. 🙂


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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8 Responses to -avery-

  1. Ruthie, I’m supposed to be writing and now that you have me crying, maybe I can actually write something good! I love you and guess what! I loved you longer.


  2. mennodave says:

    I think because you are (were) shy you think deeply, and when you share it with us it is so meaningful. Like Joyce, I had to shed a few tears on the “heart” verse. Don;t stop writing.

    And maybe you need some Powdermilk Biscuits to help with the shyness.


    • Dave, can you bring some of those Powdermilk Biscuits to the next family reunion? Or maybe not. Think what would happen if NONE of the Moyer’s were shy!


    • ten4ruthie says:

      Thank you, but these days I prefer the word “reserved” over “shy.” 🙂 And maybe I already ate some of those Powdermilk Biscuits – because I’m definitely losing it. I think of it as taking off filters. My brain (or my mouth, maybe) has a special filter for everyone I interact with. Lately I find myself being flat-out myself more and more.


  3. deelaytful says:

    GREAT POETRY. Very romantic, touching and, perhaps it’s best quality, sincere.


    • ten4ruthie says:

      Thank you! Sincerity matters to me – and it’s the reason I don’t write every single day like a lot of writers do. I’m not going to write if I don’t feel it.


      • deelaytful says:

        Hahaha. Well, speaking as one of those daily writers, it is hard to come up with a good work when pressured (mostly; sometimes, magic happens unexpectedly). At the very least, it does build discipline. The best works in my (recently concluded) tarot challenge, however, are those that are the product of pure honesty.


  4. ten4ruthie says:

    I was reading some of those; I was amazed at what you came up with from those pictures. (Or course, I know nothing about tarot cards in the first place, so I’d be completely lost with that challenge.) But, you’re right. Magic can happen unexpectedly. I’ve written some of my best stuff from prompts with a deadline. 🙂


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