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Posts from the ‘Stories’ Category

Why I March

My Dear Daughters,

This week began with the celebration of an American revolutionary, Martin Luther King, Jr.   It started with his dream, “rooted in the American dream…a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”

My girls, you know that all men, women, girls, and boys are created equal. People are people. We are all made of the same stuff and love and hurt just the same. We are here on this earth to do as much good as we can. To lift one another up into the fullness of all that we are. This is the reason people came to America. To live out their potential and make real their dreams. This is what brought your Indian grandparents and European ancestors here. Let us continue making America a place for dreamers.

In the past months, we have heard a man who took our nation’s highest office speak in such disrespectful ways to so many different kinds of people. The words that he has spoken are beyond my imagination. I did not see in him wisdom to govern this diverse country. I did not see that he treats people with basic human dignity. Yet, he won and now we call him President.

Now, remember this – Just because he won, does not mean that what he did was right. My children, winning is not enough. The way in which we win, matters. The words we speak, matter. The actions you take, matter. The story that your life tells, matters.

So, in response, today, I stand in protest of all that was said and done and the darkness that his rise to power has stirred up in this country. I stand in solidarity with all those who share a vision of hope, love, justice, and opportunity for all. I stand 8 years later once again on a cold, January morning in honor of you, looking towards this dream for America.

May we always rise up for one another. I will always get up from the places of comfort to build a better world for you.

You are your sister’s keeper, your brother’s keeper. If you are not free, I am not free. If you suffer, I too carry your burden. We march to shoulder these weights together, and so you know that this is what citizenship looks like. This is how you build a democracy that represents what you believe. This is it.

May we do this work together, as a family, as a community, as a nation.

I love you.

Momma

Keep Loving

There are countless moments each day when it’s exceedingly difficult to come forward with love. I’m learning that if we pause, and try to love through those teachable moments, we come out feeling fuller and closer to being the person we want to be.  It’s an active, conscious process to practice love daily.  Luckily, with 10 foot tall piles of snow outside, and a toddler and newborn at home all day, I have plenty of moments to get better at this and keep on practicing. Thank you for this gift, Nimo.

A Dog, A Cat, and a Baby

Momma, Momma, look at me.
I can’t J, I’m driving right now.
Momma, I want to have a dog, a cat and a baby.
Then we can all play together. It will be so fun.
Oh wow, J, sounds like a full house.

You want a dog, a cat AND a baby?
Where will we keep them? Who will care for them?
So much to think about, little love.

I will take care of them, Momma.
I’ll give the cat, cat food.
I’ll give the dog, dog food.
And I’ll hold the baby.
See, like this.

As she rocks her little baby doll back and forth and whispers so sweetly,
“Don’t cry, baby. I’m here. It’s going to be okay,”
I can see that she will be an incredible mother, friend, and most of all,
the best big sister.

You’re going to get your chance, J.
You’re getting a baby.
A baby who’s all your own.
Someone who will know your story.
Someone who will always hold your hand.

You will be the big girl.
Always my baby, but the stupendous, spectacular, indomitable big sister
To your little baby.
Shall we make a place for baby?
In our home
In our hearts
In our hands

Baby has already made a home in me.

Slippery

Oh J, the ice is slippery.
“Be careful, Momma.”
“I’ll hold you.”
And I’ll hold you, sweet girl.
We can hold each other on the ice,
And skate and dance and even slide.

I see this sweet face,
Hear the tenderness in her words,
And I can feel the gentle strength of little arms trying to keep me safe.

This little love was born with an impulse to care for others.
Day in, day out, we share in the giving and receiving of love,
In our good morning greetings, bagel shop outings, and sleepy time rituals.
I take care of her,
And she heals so much in me.
She is my gift, my grace, my connection to God.

It’s in the slippery moments
That I hold her
And she holds me
We take care of each other
Forever and ever.
This is my prayer.
Amen.

 

Your Song

Today, you sing for the very first time.
You sing songs of friends, birthdays, and bubbling spirits
Of spiders, rain, and falling leaves
Of ponies, geese, and rocket ships.

You sing the song of the ice cream truck
Of sunshine and posies.
You wake in song.
You rest your head on melodies.

You sing the song that’s in your heart.
And it stirs so deeply in mine.

You sang your way to 2.
Happy Birthday, baby bird.

I see rainbows.

For N, J’s first friend. Friends allow us to see ourselves and the world so differently. 

I see a rainbow,
Said her little friend.
Look, right here, there’s a rainbow.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” said J.

I see rainbows.
You see circles.
I see butterflies.
You see clouds.
I see you.
And you see me.
We each see things the other can’t see.

You teach me words I don’t yet know.
You make me laugh out of the blue.
You’ve been there every step of the way.
From crawling to walking, from babbling to talking
My friend, remember those tearful first days of school?
I often ask Momma if you’re happy there.
Don’t worry dear, remember the dragonflies we saw together?
In my heart, I hope you see rainbows there.

I belong to this.

“This is mine” is a refrain we hear in all toddler circles.

As my daughter has just begun this chorus, I’ve been thinking about the profundity of claiming ownership, and today, this Daily Good arrived in my inbox.

“….let’s look at two very different explorers who both shaped the world as we know it: Christopher Columbus and Carl Jung. While Columbus crossed the ocean with the intent of breaking things down and retrieving whatever treasures he could find, Jung crossed an interior ocean with the intent of putting together whatever he might find to make treasures of what he already had.  We must ask what made one explorer set foot on a continent he’d never seen and proclaim, “This is Mine!”, and what made the other bow and utter in humility, “I belong to this.” ” 

My daughter and I share this lesson of oneness most readily when we are in nature- discovering ladybugs, sticks, trees, caterpillars crossing the sidewalk, sweet smelling roses, and even the wind. It is so easy to look around, and say, “Wow. Isn’t this amazing. We are a part of this incredible world.”

One of the most divine experiences I’ve had in motherhood has been witnessing the innate need for human beings to connect, to get close, to learn each others names, to look each other in the eye and to put the pieces together so that we are truly whole, as one.  This is the instinct that we can nurture – one of belonging to something greater than ourselves.

Missing You

She wept on and off and on today.
In the moments where she was left alone in a room
To think about all the family we left behind.
“Momma, Momma, I sad.”

She cried in a way that I never knew a 2 year old could cry.
I could see the ache in her heart and in each tear that fell from her face.
She just wanted to be held, to be close, and to feel the nearness of me.

The distance from you was so weighty for her 2 ft. 9 in. frame.
She was missing you.
As her friend came to play,
She quickly ran over, bent her knees slightly to look her square in the eye
And began to retell the stories of together time with family.
“Nani, Bampaa, Uncle Ben, “Clario”…..Momma, Dada too.”
Today, she is missing each of you with her whole heart.

Connecting

“This?”
Who is this, Momma? She means to ask.
“I don’t know, baby.”
There are lots of strangers in the world.
“This?” She patiently asks again.
Can you find out who this is, Momma?
The need for connecting
with another is so great in J.

In me.
And in all of us.

She waves to those who pass right by.
Most do not see her sweet little fingers open and close in a baby wave 3 feet below.
She looks at me, knowing I saw her greeting.
And I say, “They didn’t see you, love.”
She smiles knowingly.

The desire to be seen, to be heard and to connect.
This is her greatest desire at the tender age of almost 2.
Isn’t it everyone’s secret hope and prayer?

Learning Colors – The Big & Small Daily Lessons of Parenthood

“Blue shirt, Momma.”
“J, purple shirt.”
“Black car.”
Like Momma’s black hair, I say.
“My hair too.”
No, honey, your hair is brown.
“Brown?”
I color a brown block on her sketch pad
And a black portion.
To show her the difference
Between these two colors and between our hair color too.
We learn colors and skim the surface of identity all in one lesson.

We are different, my love.
But you are mine
And I am yours.
We may not always look to the world
Like we belong to each other
But we do.