Sixteen

posted by Momo Fali on December 29, 2014

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

That Elizabeth Stone was a smart cookie.

How else can you describe the feeling of creating and carrying a child; protecting and nurturing her before she can even breathe on her own, then slowly, over the course of time, allow her to become her own being? She is a part of you. Yet, not at all.

There are times when it seems she won’t ever be self-sufficient, like when she was a tiny preemie who didn’t grasp the concept of eating and breathing at the same time.

Or, the 13 months of rocking her to sleep for every nap and bed time. At the time, all you think about is how much you want her to slumber without assistance. Sixteen years later, all you think about is what you wouldn’t do to have the chance to hold her in your arms like that again.

preemie

Now there are moments when you feel like she is soaring to terrifying heights as you stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground, doing your best to stand beneath her in case she falls, but knowing there won’t always be soft landings.

There are still so many milestones to hit, but gone are the days of walking and talking. Now, you see things looming like a driver’s license and graduations. There will be firsts; a car, an apartment and probably, most unfortunately, heartbreak.

There will be triumphs and mistakes and though they will affect you more than any you have ever experienced, they will not be your own. Your heart will beat, but you can not contain it.

This is what it’s like to see your child turn sixteen. Unbelievable pride and love combined with disbelief at the swift passage of time. It’s happiness and excitement for the future and an aching and longing for the past.

But, more than anything, it’s pure joy in seeing a kind, funny, smart, beautiful soul come into her own. It’s years of your life which have exceeded all expectations. She has exceeded all expectations. And, now she’s sixteen.

confirmation2

Happy birthday, Goose. I love you.

Christmas Crafts

posted by Momo Fali on December 22, 2014

In the midst of shopping, wrapping, singing and snacking, our family has been hit with the flu. My 15-year old daughter missed her first day of school in years, I got a bonus bronchial infection and my 12-year old, autistic son felt so bad that he actually allowed a nurse to swab his nose without a fight. My husband? Well, his cheeks turned rosy, he sneezed twice, took a nap and was all better.

I am increasingly anxious, because I haven’t been to the gym or gone for a run in six days and my daughter is so bored she actually started cleaning the bathrooms without being asked. My son is anxious AND bored and walks around moping a lot asking, “What can I doooooooooo?”

Since he is especially pathetic when he’s sick, I do my best to keep his mind off of it so we don’t get sucked into his tears and start handing him Christmas presents early. Video games and movies aren’t great options because the more he lies around, the more weak and mopey he gets. So, like any good mom, I brought out the crafts.

But, unlike a good mom, I couldn’t remember how to cut a snowflake.

spider snowflake

Thankfully, he likes spiders.

My Christmas Wish List 2014

posted by Momo Fali on December 5, 2014

All I want for Christmas is a major life shift, world peace, the end to systemic discrimination, and endless love, but since I can’t have those things, here’s my real wishlist. Oh, wait. I can’t have these things either. Darn the price tags!

1. iPhone 6

I currently have a 4s, which is the equivalent of a flip-phone. I also have man-hands, which makes sending emails dangerous on a small screen. Typos-R-Us.

iphone

Isn’t she lovely?

2. Cuff

This smart jewelry isn’t actually available yet, but it can be pre-ordered! I want this in ALL the ways. It’s an activity tracker, it notifies you when you’re receiving an important call or text (even if your phone is in your purse) and it’s an emergency notification system in case you fall and can’t get up! And, it comes in lots of pretty styles!

cuff

3. Toms

These. Because they’re high-tops. And, because they’re blue, suede shoes. Elvis wants me to have them. Plus, for every pair of Toms shoes you buy, they donate a pair to a person in need. Bonus!

toms

4. Olay Advanced Cleansing System

Because I’m 43 and still get breakouts and everyone I know who has one swears by it. Everyone I know wouldn’t lie! Right? RIGHT? Excuse me while I sign the deed on this swampland in Jersey.

olay5. North Face

*swoon* This long parka is my dream coat. I work-out five days a week, sometimes six, and I’m often trotting about town in running tights. My son is always the last kid to exit the building at school pick-up. My butt gets cold and unless I’m in the gym or out for a run, I’d like to keep it covered. Thankyouverymuch.

north faceSo there! You can get me everything on my wish list for about $650. Get to shoppin’!

Why We Should Forgive Ray Rice

posted by Momo Fali on December 2, 2014

Hold on. Let me tell you where I’m coming from.

Before I met my husband, to whom I’ve been married for over 17 years, I was in an abusive relationship. This does not make me an expert on domestic violence, but it gives me a unique perspective. I know what it’s like to look into the eyes of someone who is supposed to love you and feel nothing but pain.

Ray Rice did something wrong. Very wrong. Without exception, a man should never hit a woman (and vice versa) and there is absolutely no excuse for his behavior. He should be punished for it, and if it is determined the punishment is that he is never signed to an NFL contract again, then he should accept that. This isn’t about the football player, this is about the man.

Can I say that I would forgive him if I were Janay? No, I can’t. I was never knocked unconscious. I can say that I chose to forgive someone for hitting me, or at least to look past it, again and again, for years. I should have left after the first time it happened, but I think Janay should stay.

Why the double-standard?

Because I believe in second chances. I believe in forgiveness and that people can better themselves. I believe in becoming a stronger, more-focused, enlightened person by owning your mistakes and understanding your future choices. I also believe there isn’t one person reading this who hasn’t done something shameful in their life.

Ray and Janay have both said that this was the only time he had ever hit her. I don’t necessarily believe that, but I don’t know for sure. What if it was? What if this was Ray’s shameful moment?

The difference between what happened to me and what happened to Janay is that Ray is sorry. He has expressed regret and asked for forgiveness. I stayed with someone who didn’t. There can’t be change within a person unless they see the need.

We have to determine whether we look at Ray Rice as a violent, indifferent person who doesn’t deserve forgiveness because he’s only concerned about his career, or as a remorseful man who made a terrible mistake, loves his family and should get the opportunity to prove it. Trust me, there’s a big difference between those two types of people - an infinite difference.

Which Ray Rice do you see?

I choose to see the latter. I choose to believe in second chances.