For Ali

posted by Momo Fali on September 14, 2009

If you haven’t read between the lines you may not be aware that the name of this blog is a bizarre take on “Mom of Ali”. Years ago when I created an online account and gave myself the user name of “momofali“, my best friend sent me an e-mail asking, “Who’s Momo Fali?”

Since then, or at least since the creation of this blog, I often go by the nickname, “Momo“. As far as nicknames go, this is significantly better than when my elementary school classmates called me “Dog-Star Diane”.

But, even though I am Momo Fali, I am Mom of Ali as well. And, that Ali? Is one heck of a kid.

I talk a lot about my son’s struggles, but his older sister was even smaller than him when she was born. Ali arrived 10 weeks early, weighing just 2 pounds, 9 ounces. That was almost 11 years ago. Considering where she started, she has faced a fair amount of obstacles herself.

Her biggest challenge is being the sister of a kid with medical problems. It is not easy. At all.

There have been times when she was promised a day of fun and she’s ended up sitting in the emergency room because her brother was sick. There have been mornings when we had to drop her off at a neighbor’s house at the crack of dawn so we could get him to the outpatient center for an early surgery. And, there have been countless meals when she’s watched her brother choke and vomit at the dining room table.

Needles, meds, doctors, surgeries, therapy, x-rays…these things are a part of her life just as much as they are part of ours. Knowing what she does about life at the ripe old age of ten, just doesn’t seem right.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s still a pretty typical kid. She bosses her little brother around, she talks back a lot and I’ve actually seen her spit her dinner into her napkin and then feed it to the dogs. Though, truth be told, I’ve wanted to do that myself a few times.

Despite the things she has seen, or possibly because of them, she is amazingly well-adjusted. She is smart, responsible, kind and compassionate. I am lucky to have her.

It is time that I told her so. Just like the letter I wrote to my favorite teacher last week, I am hoping she reads this so she can know how great I think she is.

Maybe, just maybe, it will actually get her to clean her room.


  • Bean

    I love it! I have many emails from you over the years, talking about how well she handled a disappointment due to an unexpected medical issue with her brother … or how patient she has been through everything. And since she was just a tot, we've joked about how she is the "perfect" child to which others should be modeled after (including my own)!
    Great tribute.
    (But, I still argue that it's pronounced "Momo FAHLEE". It's MY word!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Always Home and Uncool

    It's not easy being the sib of kid who needs all the attention. Hope she continues to blossom.

  • meleah rebeccah

    YOU are such a WONDERFUL mother to be raising two such INCREDIBLE kids.


  • Deb Thaxton

    –>Thanks for explaning the name of your blog. I never would have noticed it but now that I know how it came to be I won't miss it. It's sort of like the arrow in the FedEx logo. Have you ever noticed it between the E and X?

    Your daughter sounds like a very well adjusted child. Congrats to you and your husband for that.

  • Melisa with one S

    I ADORE Ali. After meeting her in June, I was blown away by her. She is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and such a little sweetheart. Give her a hug for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • anya

    Mom of Ali? I never would have seen that…duh!

  • Amy

    I always wondered about your blog name!

    She sounds awesome. I love this post.

  • WeaselMomma

    You have two pretty great kids and Ali is a lovely girl.

  • Sadia

    What a lovely tribute!

    Thank you for the constant reminder of how fortunate we are to have two healthy preemies.

    I find that my blog tends to reflect whichever child is more demanding of my patience, attention and creativity at the time. I hope that my day-to-day interactions are more balanced; if you'd got any tricks on how you achieve it, please share!

    I was at the pediatrician's office the other day when an ambulance came to rush a child off to hospital. His older sister (10 or 11) was in the waiting room, and I talked her while she waited for her father to pick her up; her mom had left with her brother in the ambulance. She seemed so mature, patient and loving, and I'm sure part of it was having to grow up faster with a sick brother who's often in the hospital.

  • Kim

    Nope.. never noticed it..

    Ali sounds like an amazing girl.. kinda like her Mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • the planet of janet

    ali rocks… and so does her momo.

  • Single Parent Dad

    I agree with the planet of janet.

    Momo, and her clan are awesome.

  • Kat

    You just know she is gonna be quite an awesome adult, just like her mom.

  • Otter Thomas

    Sweet post. I have read you for a long while and I never new the story behind Momo. It is a good one.

  • Angella

    What a great post for Ali to read. I have a hunch that she knows ow much you love her, but it's always nice to read it.

  • Jessica

    let me know if this encourages the room cleaning…

  • surprised mom

    When I met you in June and you explained the name of your post, I thought, "How clever!"
    Your daughter is a sweet girl and I'm so glad I had the chance to meet her and her brother. She's a stand up girl for handling her brother's freqent medical emergencies as well as she does. I know some adults who couldn't do it with such grace.
    So . . . that's how you get a child to clean her room . . .

  • James (SeattleDad)

    Hadn't read between the lines before. Ah ha moment! Great post.

  • Junk Drawer Kathy

    Yes, she's probably wise beyond her years, but that's a gift. It'll serve her well when she gets older. Besides, she never really has to grow up. I haven't.

  • Jaina

    Ali sounds absolutely fantastic. What a wonderful little girl. She is blessed with an amazing family. Great letter Momo ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tara R.

    It's tough being the big sister sometimes. Sounds like Ali is a very special kid. I hope she reads this post too.

  • Neil

    It sounds like you have a great family. I will continue to think of you as Momo.

  • AlisonH

    I got it, but then, my name being what it is…

    And don't be surprised if she grows up to be in the medical profession. She'll have a better and more understanding bedside manner than anyone. You and she are doing just fine.

  • Rachel


    Diane de Momo ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love this.
    You are an amazing woman, friend and mother. Ali is very lucky to have you and you her. This is going to bring her to tears and cause her such joy one day.xoxo

  • LiteralDan

    That's just yet another reason why this is hard for you— trying to make sure Ali knows how loved and appreciated she is, without it feeling forced, and while still paying attention to your son as much as he needs in his situation.

  • DysFUNctional Mom

    Of course she's an awesome kid…she has an awesome mom!

  • Oscar

    It's nice you can just say these words and share them. You are a great mom, and obviously friend to Ali.

    God bless all of you!


  • ZDub

    What a great post for your daughter.

    I was wondering about Momo Fali too!

  • Heather

    It's tough being the big kid, surrounded by chaos. She handles it well, mostly because she's just like her mother ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tom

    She sounds like a really good kid, and she'll definitely be very patient and understanding adult.

    But no, it's not going to motivate her to clean her room.

  • Tracey

    Oh, C'mon…. Forget the room cleaning… She's one great kid and we all learn from her innocent child oops young adult wisdom!! Big hug to her for being so darn cute!

  • Angie

    Did she read it? Did she like it? Did she clean her room? lol.

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