Iceland Parenting Poetry

Because: A Poem About Childhood

Because: a parent’s poem about childhood

Kirstie Profile SmallHow many reluctant poets write their own versions of Roses are Red, Violets are Blue around Valentines day to celebrate love and impress someone special? I don’t normally go in for that kind of thing. But recently I became choked up while giving a talk to the female version of The Rotary Club. And I was inspired to write a love poem. But not to my husband. Check it out in this video. 

A love poem, but not to my husband

The function suite of the Longlands Hotel down the road has probably had its fair share of emotional moments as people have proposed during a romantic meal or tied the knot. It’s probably hosted a fair few funeral teas too, which are probably even more intense. So I’m aware of the room’s past history of tears and tiaras, but I don’t expect to become choked up while giving a talk to fifteen ladies of Carnforth’s Inner Wheel.

Long Meg, Stone Circle, Cumbria

These are fleeting memories of a childhood long gone… at Long Meg, Cumbria, 2006

An anniversary celebration

It is ten years since we set up the Family Adventure Project, and during the talk we show some videos to illustrate our adventures with video and slides. I’m actually talking about fish at the time. About a day on a fjord in Iceland where we failed to catch our tea. I’m watching rods bobbing and heads nodding, and suddenly I’m struck by a strong feeling that I can only describe as love, which is immediately followed up by a feeling of loss.

Stuart is giving the talk with me. But it’s not him I’ve fallen for. It’s the three faces in the boat on the screen in front of me. My three young children, who aren’t young any more. It’s almost a punch to the stomach, the knowledge that I will never again walk with them as toddlers, play with them as tweens. Hannah is the youngest and in another couple of years will reach double figures. The boys, now eleven and thirteen, have left those years far behind, burying them deep in a Minecraft maze, whittling them into the wood and the wind at scouts, or emptying them out of their pockets at secondary school to make room for lunch pass and mobile phone.

Riding a triplet is a bit of an attention getter...

Will we ever ride a kiddy back tandem again? On our way to the Baltics, 2010

A moment of love and loss

I yearn for these carefree characters. For the freckled faces. For time with them all over again. But they are gone. Once the video clip is over I have lost them again. I pack up the screen, but the feelings stay with me.

Later I write this poem, and combine it with the video of the boat. I want to mark who they were at that moment in time and to keep that moment clutched in my fingers for a little longer. Before I have to let it go. Because letting go is sadly what love, and parenting, is all about….

Hannah at Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland

Another moment gone. Never to be recaptured, just remembered in a snap. Gullfoss, Iceland, 2012

Here’s the poem in full. Do you feel the same? Do leave a comment and let me know.


Because you outrun shadows, darkness cannot catch you
Because you’re effervescent, the world is never flat
Because you are impatient, your minutes have more seconds
Because you trust in strangers, you aren’t too scared to wander
Because you are surprising, you are still inspired to wonder.

Because you are inclusive, you are never an outsider
Because you are immortal, you cannot fear the future
Because your road is endless, you take it at a dash
Because you have no past, you’re not loaded with regret
Because you don’t hoard grudges, you are able to forget.

Because you’re glitter coated, you don’t go chasing gold
Because you believe in fairies, you wear a magic cloak
Because you are your own company, you are not alone
Because you conquer nightmares, you are bigger when you dream
Because you aren’t suspicious, things are always what they seem.

Because you’re freshly minted, you expect us all to shine
Because you’re self sufficient, you don’t miss it when its gone
Because you are creative, you make the world your own
Because you are a winner, you haven’t thought to fail
Because you dance on sunlight, you will never ever fall.

Jumping Hay Bales, East Iceland

The unbridled joy of childhood contrasts with my feelings of loss. Jumping hay bales in Iceland, 2012

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.


  • Thanks Gretta. It all goes way too fast doesn’t it? Faster than you can comprehend. One moment you are picking the fluff off their lollipop and the next they are beating you at Scrabble.

  • What a beautiful read, this is why I do my best to get my photos off the hard drive and into photo books so I can look at them as often as I wish, so much easier the old fashioned album to pick up than on the PC

  • Hi Kristie,

    I really enjoyed your poem! Would you mind if we use it on the back of our 6th grade graduation program at Lincoln Elementary School in Iowa City, IA. I don’t want to infringe on your copyright but I think it would be great to use!

    Liz Firmstone

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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