I’ve been debating for weeks whether or not to share this. This could easily be filed under the “Look How Cute My Kid Is” category, which most parents fall victim to — myself included. But I’ve thought about this at the oddest moments ever since it first happened, which tells me there’s something to it outside of the Cuteness Quotient.

A few weeks ago, on an ordinary weekday evening, my first-grade son, Henry, presented me with a handful of pages he had bound together with Scotch tape. He had written on the front page: Henry’s Poems for Fathers.

I knew he had been working on these poems. On the front of a red folder I gave him, he had written: “Henry’s pomems — privit binder.” Inside on the left pocket, on a piece of masking tape, scrawled in his own handwriting is “work in progress” and on the right side is for “finished work.” But I didn’t know he had plans for it. After he gave me the poetry collection and I thanked him, he told me it was no big deal. “I was going to have to clean out my poetry folder anyway.”

I relayed this whole story to a fellow teacher who Henry had shared these poems with. She told me that he had confided in her that he was planning to give them to me on Father’s Day.

So on this day before Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think about these little people who say “Mom” or “Dad” every 15 seconds without reason or provocation. And I can’t help but think how much my own life — after nearly 40 years — reads like a poem, penned by tiny hands and vividly illustrated with colored pencils.

Read Henry’s Poems for Fathers.