“To My Grown-Up Son” is a short poem written by Alice E.Chase and published in 1975. The poem reads from the perspective of a mother to her adult son, and it takes the form of a heartfelt expression of remorse for not spending more time with the child when he was younger. The poem touches upon universal themes such as placing responsibility before pleasure, the regrets of missed opportunities and that lost time cannot be recaptured.
The poem expresses sentiments shared by many parents and could have easily been written by a parent of either gender. The poem contains six four-line stanzas. In the first stanza, the writer explains that she was busy when asked to play games and had other things she had to do. In the second and third stanzas, the mother lists some of the duties she performed, and she expresses her wishes that she had taken more time to spend with her son when he was younger. In the fourth and fifth stanzas, the mother remarks on the passage of time and how quickly children seem to grow, establishes that the child is now an adult, and states that the opportunity to spend time having fun with the child has passed.
The poem ends with the mother lamenting that, now that she has time to spare, her days are long and hard to fill, and she expresses remorse by wishing she could have the time back to devote to her son.