Sunday Post: Landscapes and a February Poetry Contest

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…this week’s theme is LANDSCAPES. 

In addition, Marylin Warner over at Things I Want to Tell My Mother is having a February Poetry Contest 

The Rules:

“Be a rebel with a writing cause; break away from the expected February verses and write a poem about a date or an activity or adventure that WASN’T what you (or your mother) wanted to do…and how it ended.

You choose: rhymed, free verse, a sonnet or a series of Haikus or even non-bawdy limericks, etc.   Just keep your poem to a maximum of 50 words (not counting the words of the title–and please have a title).  JOIN THE FUN!”

I began to wonder how I could combine these two seemingly unrelated ideas into one post.

And then I had an idea!

According to the dictionary, a landscape is a picture representing a view or expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view.

My poem, Fears of the Inner Child, is really a landscape of my life.  I hope you enjoy reading it.


Childhood often invades adult life.

Fears laid down early create later strife.

Afraid of adventure and trying new things,

Mom constantly cautioned: Be careful! Life stings!

To conquer that panic is my fervent wish.

I’ve parasailed, skydived and swum with the fish.


If you have the time and want to see the sky-dive I did with my son in the summer of 2010, you can go here.

It was an amazing adventure…and a wonderful bonding experience to have with an adult son.   With my book, Show Me How! and my school programs and workshops, I encourage parents to spend time with their young children…reading, crafting and cooking or doing anything positive.   “Raising the Next Steve Jobs”, the cover story in the February issue of Parenting Magazine, offered parents some simple advice: read with your children, talk with your children, participate with your children.  I was quoted in that article…and my book was mentioned.   You know that if want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.  The fantastic skydive I did with my son only strengthened the connection we forged over thirty years ago when he was a little boy…believe me, those early years are so very important!

If you’d like more information about Jake’s Sunday Post: 

And here are a few of the posts from other participants in Jake’s Sunday Post:


About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD'S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING. freelance writer, picture book junkie, love to travel, hike, cook, play Monopoly with my 5-year old grandson and go fly-fishing with my husband.

Posted on February 26, 2012, in contests, Poetry Contest, Skydiving, Sunday Post and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 114 Comments.

  1. wow, a super entry in Landscape! and i am sure in the poetry blog … love your poem, the first part too true for all of us, breaking away from that early conditioning is a lifelong job! thanks for the pingback too:)


    • Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! So glad you liked the photo and poem…you are so right about the early conditioning being widespread and, all to often, negative. Even the most loving of parents can inadvertantly say and do things that have a negative impact on the rest of a person’s life. But, we always have choices we can make.:)


  2. Great Entry Vivian thanks for posting:)


    • Glad you liked it, Jake. Your Sunday Post with changing themes every week is the perfect incentive for me. And fun, because I always try to tie it in with positive parenting, uplifting kids and strengthening the parent-child connection.:)


  3. The video can’t be viewed in the uk so I’ll just have to imagine how awesome it must have been!


    • Hi Gilly Gee,
      So happy you stopped by to comment…sorry the video can’t be viewed in the UK. I wonder if you would be able to if I uploaded the disc I have and gave the link to that. I’m not as tech-savvy as I would like to be…still learning.:)


  4. This is wonderful, Vivian!
    I’ve posted your poem on my site for the contest. I didn’t post the picture, but the poem is a whole new experience!


    • Thank you so much, Marylin! I so appreciate the opportunity you provided with the February Poetry Contest…these were feelings I’ve had…well…for obviously a VERY long time…perhaps teachers/couselors/parents could use poetry writing to help kids express their feelings.:)


  5. Delightful entry about the landscape of your life.


  6. great entry – a life landscape. thank you for sharing your poem.


  7. Oh wow! I have been wanting to do skydive! I wasn’t able to when I was in Chicago but I am not losing hope:) Your son looks so much like you… I so love the photo.

    I do like the poem too. I am a frustrated poet back in my younger years:) I’ve kept a notebook with my scribbles but sadly, I lost it when I moved here in Spain. Maybe some time I can go back and try poetry again!

    Spanish Pinay


    • It was an awesome experience…what a joy to share something like that with an adult child! Glad you liked the photo…he’s a pretty special man.:)

      And please, please, please start scribbling again…you write so beautifully about your little daughter…don’t worry about the pages you lost…start making new pages.:)


  8. Vivian, what an adventuresome spirit you have. I applaud your skydiving — I’m not so brave. Love the photo of the two of you. Tried to watch the video but couldn’t. Great job of combining both themes and I really liked the poem. I have a completely knew view of you! Love it!


    • Pat…these days even I have a completely new view of me.😉

      As a child and young adult, I was always quite timid and intimidated (except when it came to working with young children). My husband is much more adventuresome and since I wanted to be with him, I was willing (but not always happy about it) to take part in things like underwater walks, parasailing, banana-boat riding, etc. Of course, after each experience, I was thrilled I had done it. But recently (since Show Me How was published), I’ve realized I can do so many things I had never thought I could…so I take a deep breath…and just do it.:)


  9. Wow! Sky diving would be a great adventure to share with the children! Thanks for the tip!:)


    • So glad you stopped by! Thanks for linking my page to your Sunday post. I LOVED your vintage travel poster…my husband and I went cross country several times before our children were born…we were teachers and had the summers off and just got in our car and drove…gas was 33 cents a gallon in the late 60’s, so it was pretty inexpensive to travel that way. It’s ironic because the only state we never went to was Colorado…and that’s where we have lived for the past 15 years.:) Yee-haa!


  10. Hi, Vivian,
    I need you to email me ASAP —


  11. I remain impressed every time I read about your memorable skydiving experience… And that picture above is terrific. You both look thrilled!:-)


    • I’m so glad i did it, Eliz. Although I might not skydive again (pretty expensive for such a time-short adventure), I look forward to new and exciting adventures on the horizon.:) Peter and I had an awesome time together!


  12. You are braver than I! A lot of things I will do with my children, but skydiving is not one of them. I admire you though, and I love your poem.


    • Hi Karen,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments. I don’t know that I am so brave…but I do know that life is short and it’s important to do the things you feel you should do…and spend time with the ones you love.:)


  13. That was a nice adventure you had with your son. Very nice indeed.


  14. You are braver than I am! I am so scared of heights! This did look fun though, I must admit.

    Stopping by from the 100 Comments event.


    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for stopping by..I worked today and work tomorrow…so I will be visiting your blog later this weekend. The skydive was a lot of fun…the best part was the 8 minutes of gliding down to the ground…awesome weightless feeling…silence…peaceful…with the countryside below looking like a patchwork quilt.:)


  15. Good for you on being so brave and going skydiving. I have fear of heights and I’d never, ever do that! I don’t think my ears could resist the pressure anyway as I have constant fluid in there from allergies bothering me (I have to pop my ears several times a day, without any change in altitude!).


    • Hi Malika,
      Sorry about your ears…skydiving would probably not be the best activity for you.:)
      I didn’t think of myself as brave…just kind of going along for the ride.:) It was really a lot of fun…more so because I did it with my son!


      • I’d be telling my son not to do it!😉


        • It is scary when our kids (no matter what their age) do things that we feel is dangerous or not a good idea…after all, we will always be their mother, even when they are adults. :)  One of the hardest skills to learn is to allow our kids to take risks…like joining a team even though they may not be great at that sport but have a desire to participate.  Of course, sometimes parents do have to step in with advice or with a veto…after all, we are the parents, right? :)   


  16. You are a brave lady to go sky-diving with your son! I’d be too chicken! Heights just are not my favorite. I have gone on a gondola in the Rocky Mountains, I have climbed the Statue of Liberty, but jumping out of a plane??? Not my thing.😉


  17. Now that is one thrilling landscape…Up, up and away…or shall I say, clear the road below…What a fun, exciting post.


  18. Lovely poem! I’m certainly not brave enough to skydive, but I do try to do things that put me out of my comfort zone.


    • Hi Dawn,
      I think that is the key…doing things outside our comfort zone…it makes us stronger and opens our horizons…and makes us feel better about ourselves also.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.:)


  19. I agree that you can never read to or talk with your children enough. They are precious and grow up very quickly.
    Looks like you enjoyed your skydiving adventure.


    • Hi Elizabeth…nice to meet you.:)
      Children do grow up so very quickly…I think sometimes we are so looking forward to the “next” stage, we don’t enjoy or appreciate the one they are in.:)
      I did enjoy the skydiving adventure…as much for having done it with my son as for the adventure itself.


  20. You are brave to go sky diving with your son! Good for you!


    • It’s funny, because I didn’t think of myself as brave at that moment…just that it was an adventure I would be having with my son…I was very comfortable during the entire experience…just wasn’t crazy about the pressure on my chest during the free fall.:) So pleased you stopped by…thank you!


  21. That’s brave! Something I wouldn’t do…hah.:) Plan to go again?


    • Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      No, I don’t think I would go again…it’s really expensive…and I wasn’t crazy about the pressure on my chest during the free fall.:) But I LOVED the gliding down…maybe I should try hang-gliding.:):)


  22. Love the poem, but really love that you sky dived with your son. Wow.
    Peace and good to you.


  23. wow! I could NEVER skydive. I am terrified of heights and might have a heart attack before even jumping out of the plane lol. You are a brave woman.


    • Hahaha! I think walking into a store as a mystery shopper takes quite a lot of courage…thanks for stopping by…love your blog! You must have some really interesting experiences to relate.:)


  24. Oh man, I wanted to go skydiving so bad! I envy you. *thumbs up* Thanks for the entertaining column. I enjoyed it.


    • Hi Deborah,
      So nice to meet you…glad you enjoyed the post! Is skydiving on your bucket list? Perhaps one day you will do it…I’ve learned we can do just about anything we want to, if we just set our mind to it.:)


  25. I am terrified of heights and could never sky dive. You are a very brave woman!


    • Thanks for stopping by, Deanna. I think courage is doing what is outside your comfort zone…that could be skydiving…but it also could be taking a course at school or starting an exercise program to get in shape.:) I don’t think of myself as brave…it was just a wonderful experience to have with my son!


  26. Loved what you said about if you want to be in your kids memories tomorrow be in their lives today.


    • So glad you stopped by.:) You are 100% correct…that is a really important idea to remember when we get busy and think we hae no time to spend with your kids. That’s why I wrote the book…it makes spending quality to with kids a snap…quick and easy activities tied in with each picture book suggestion.:)


  27. Sometimes I think I’d like to skydive, but it seems that as time goes on, I have less and less nerve. I used to be much more brave, but being a mom has made me much more cautious…


    • Hi Julie,
      Glad you came to visit!
      Being a mom is the bravest thing a person can ever do!!!!!! So please don’t feel you are not courageous…parenting takes a lot more courage than skydiving does.:)


  28. I love skydiving. Hope you guys enjoyed it.


  29. Congrats on the mention of you and your book! Great advice to spend time with our kids because they do grow up so fast. My son is 18-mos and I’m trying to find a balance between letting him be independent and spending time with him.


    • Hi Lisa,
      So glad you stopped by…you are 100% correct! Our children grow up so quickly…and it is difficult to find that balance…we don’t want to smother them and always be overshadowing them (helicopter mom:) and we don’t want to ignore them or tell them to do as they please. I guess setting rules early on is really important…and being consistent…and expecting our children to accept responsibility for what they do. In turn, we need to love them unconditionally and be supportive and participate in activities with them.


  30. How cool! I want my kids to always know I love them and want them to know that I’m always here for them and want to always be involved as their parent. This is an awesome thing!


  31. A nice little poem for your entry!


  32. Spending more time with my children is something that I’m being called to do. The problem is that I’ve never been good at managing my time and I better start figuring that out before the years slip away from me more than they already have. Thanks for the reminder.


    • Hi Ashley,
      I think many of us have that problem of time management.:) It’s not easy to find the time to do everything…so I guess we have to decide which parts of our lives we will make a priority and which will be delegated to the back burner. And we can always ask for help (we may not always get it though.:)


  33. Great post. With three little guys I really hope to make an impact in their lives today to build memories that will last forever. Love your poem.


    • Thank you, Nicole. You are so right…we have so much opportunity when our children are young to be great role models and to have a positive influence on them that will set them on the path to living up to their potential. It is sad when parents don’t step up and do that.


  34. It is wonderful that you have conquered your fears and done these amazing things! I definitely would be too afraid to do any but maybe the fish one…but luckily I don’t really have a burning desire for those types of adventures!:) Thanks for the great thought – in poetry no less!


    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Julie. I think we never know what we are capable until we are tested.:) I know that I can do a lot more than I ever thought I could. It is an experience I will never forget.:)


  35. what a mom to skydive with your son! i’m afraid i’ll have to pass that one up myself, but i love to see parents and children doing things together!


  36. I had to laugh for a minute because my cousin and I were planning on skydiving this summer to celebrate our 40th birthdays but I just adopted a baby and decided I couldn’t risk it. Maybe one day in the future my daughter and I can go together.
    Just last week I when she fell asleep on me I skipped several planned activities so I could enjoy cuddling with her. It may not be practical but it is so worth it to me. Some friends say I will regret it later(her sleeping on me) but I think I would regret it if I don’t spend these quiet and not so quiet moments with her now.


  37. That is amazing! You’re braver than I am. I won’t be jumping out of a plane anytime soon.:-) I think it’s great that you and your son have such a good relationship.


    • Hahaha…and I won’t be doing it again soon either.:) But I am truly happy I did it…it definitely made me stronger and gave me more confidence in myself…if I could do that…I guess I could do anything.:) Thank you so much for stopping by.


  38. You are so brave!! I am not sure that I would have been able to jump:)


    • To be honest…when you skydive in tandem with the instructor, you really don’t have a choice.:) You are strapped together, like peas in a pod, and when he jumps out of the airplane, he takes you with him.:) It was an amazing experience…I’m so glad I did it,especially because I shared the time with my son!


  39. You sound like a good mom:) It is good to communicate your love. It will build a bond and memories that will help them throughout life.:) Have a great day.


  40. Wonderful poem and wonderful outlook! I went skydiving when I was 30 and I loved it. it is great to challenge yourself!


  41. Love your poem! Skydiving! I would have done it once, but now as a mom I’ve become so much more cautious! I hope I get to a time in my life when I would be willing again to do it. My aunt’s parents sky-dived together for their 50th anniversary!


    • Thank you so much…glad you liked the poem!
      WOW…skydiving for a 50th anniversary…now that is bravery…and togetherness…quite special…these days, some married couples barely want to sit next to each other at the movies.:)


  42. What a wonderful talent you have! Good thing I have awhile until my oldest is grown, so I can get up the nerve to be adverturous and brave like you!


  43. I’ve done some pretty Brave things in my life – and I was a Flight Attendant for several years in the ’70s – but jumping out of planes…???!!! Not so much!! Good for You though – and liked your poems, too – ;-}


    • So nice to have you stop by.:) You are very brave to have been a flight attendant…you went up in the air every day…I only jumped out once.:) Glad you liked the poem…I think many of us carry feelings from childhood into our adult lives.


  44. I’m not big into poetry. Skydiving is too scary. Yes, I’m a boring chicken. I


  45. How wonderful that you are able to write in multiple media- the power of the internet, huh? I love the poetry and the heartfelt help you’re pouring out to parents to encourage them to improve their parenting, and thereby their lives. Beautiful.


  46. Skydiving, huh? You’re much braver than I am! Sounds like you and you’re son had a good time though!


  47. Wow! I would love to go parasailing. I love the way you combined the two ideas into one poem.


  48. Sounds like a wonderful book! I’ll check it out.


    • I hope you like it, Amy.:) I met a preschool teacher the other day and we began talking about reading picture books and doing activities. I gave her a bookmark…and she said, “Oh, I have this book…I love it…I almost don’t have to make lesson plans anymore…everything is right here.:)


  49. Great piece! You get the gold star for courage–I daydream about skydiving someday but I don’t think I’d every have the guts to go through with it. Having kids made me a weenie lol.



    • Thank you for the gold star.:) You get one for homeschooling!:)
      Perhaps when your children are older, you will decide to do some of the things that you steop back from now…or maybe not.:) If you are happy and fulfilled in what you are doing, you are doing the right thing for you!


  50. Skydiving! I’d be scared to death and would never follow through. Nice poem too.


  51. I wanna try skydiving but it’s scary! I’m impressed!


  52. Wow! Love the landscape picture. That is so cool you got to sky-dive with your son. That must have been quite the experience!


    • Hi Betsy,
      Glad you came by…the skydive was a surprise for me.:) Years before, my son had done it and I had commented, “Oh, that looks like fun..I’d love to do it.” When I visited him in Chicago, he announced that we would be going skydiving the next day. I guess that proves that we need to always think before we talk.:):) It turned out to be an amazing day…and our bond is stonger than ever before.:)


  53. I love this post. You are so brave. I have never skydived or parasailed because of fear. Thanks for the inspiration.


    • It’s funny, because I’ve never thought of myself as brave…in fact…quite the opposite.:) However, I’ve always known I have an iron will…ironically I am also the most flexible and tolerant person you could even meet.:) I guess we are all very complex people.
      The skydive was exciting and fun and all the more special because I did it with my son.:)


  54. How amazing to have the courage to go sky diving,


    • Hi Stacy,
      Thank you for stopping by. We all have hidden reserves of courage, I think, that get activated as needed.:) A positive self-image is needed to look forward to the challenges in our lives…we can be afraid of something…that doesn’t mean we are cowardly…sometimes it just means we are thoughtfully cautious.:) But that is why I think it is so very important to lay the foundations for high self-esteem early on. Those children will be eager learners.


  55. Sky diving sounds interesting. I love it when there are many people who sky dive all at once and make formations in the sky.:)


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