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*Dancing with My Daughter: Poems of Love, Wisdom & Dreams* by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer
Also by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer:

A Mother of Sons: Poems of Love, Wisdom, & Dreams


Dancing with My Daughter: Poems of Love, Wisdom & Dreams
by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer
100 pages Loyola Press March 2004 Hardcover    

In Dancing with My Daughter, Jayne Jaudon Ferrer likens the experience and bond of motherhood to dancing. Through her poetry, she explores the relationship a mother shares with her daughter over the years. The “Waltz” is the beginning, and first chapter, discovering the tenderness of the baby and toddler years. Her final chapter is entitled “Freestyle”, the dance that promises dreams and hopes of her daughter’s future, and of the mother giving her the freedom to find her path.

A tiny book, measuring roughly five by six inches, it is perfect for sharing with little hands. Read alone, it is nice. Read with a daughter? Sharing it deepens the experience exponentially. The cover is creamy with an old black-and-white photo of a sweetly smiling little girl in an old fashioned frock. The scrapbook-like layout with layers of faded reminiscent colors calls out to mothers everywhere.

While some of the poems are impossibly trite, some of them are quite well done and truly tug at the heart. A few of them do beg many rereads.

The favorite - as well as perhaps the least favorite - is Mother Magic. It makes for an odd, twisted sort of grimacing grin. One of the poems in the “Jitterbug” section is called Choosing Sides. The last three lines alone make it one of the better poems.

Another notable is Budding Beauty. The mix of comedic angst and loving maternal patience is a wonderful tribute to motherhood.

There are a few that delve into the general theme of “get over it.” They exhibit less compassion, and more coldness, than one might hope for - with the exception, perhaps, of extolling the virtues and healing properties of chocolate, something every young girl ought to learn from her mother.

The very last line of Mom’s Top Ten Tickets to Trouble serves as the entire book’s redemption. That brief giggle alone might have made this little volume completely worthwhile.

In her sweet little volume of “poems of love, wisdom and dreams,” Jayne Jaudon Ferrer tries to capture the magic of those all-too-brief moments in life when we raise our daughters. To some degree, she succeeds, drawing out the impossibly tender feelings that hide in our hearts as mothers, as well as reminding us how infuriating this job can sometimes be. However, overall, the poetry and sentiments are classically cliché and routine. Mixed together, it works without panache. It simply works.

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