Posts Filed Under Kids


posted by Momo Fali on December 29, 2017

I was sitting down to write your birthday blog post last night, but I logged onto Facebook first. As one does. This turned out to be serendipitous. As things are.

The first post that popped up in my feed was a thank you from one friend to another. Not just a simple thank you, but a life-changing, you wrestled me from the depths of depression and gave me purpose kind of thank you. It started, “I think every year, there is someone in your life who comes along, and often unknowingly or without specific intent, gives you the boost or the confidence to take a chance and better yourself. Like a Personal Person of the Year.”

Lovely, isn’t it? Being touched by another human being to the extent that they would thank you like that? Believe it or not, you are that person for me. So, today, on your nineteenth birthday, I’m dubbing you my Personal Person of the Year. Thank you. 

You certainly didn’t know you were going to change my life when you came into the world, but you definitely did. I had a great job and good relationships, but I didn’t have a purpose. Once you arrived, I wasn’t just existing anymore. I was LIVING. And I had a reason to eat, sleep, breathe and bake chicken nuggets. Bonus.

Seventeen years ago, when you were deep in your Barney phase, there was a song about how great it would be if all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops, “…standing outside with our mouths open wide…ah, ah, ah….” But, you and I both know that life isn’t like that. If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops, it wouldn’t be all that great. Basically, we’d be getting pelted with candy.

That’s kind of how things have been. Life is sweeter, but the road to get here has been riddled with potholes because unexpected nonsense came falling from the sky. And as much as I tried to patch things so you could travel smoothly, I couldn’t. I’m so sorry for that pain. But, I’m so proud of the way you’ve pulled yourself out of those holes and paved your own way.

Two years ago, you were barely functioning. In your nineteenth year, you have been able to leave home, start a challenging college career, begin a new job AND you spend early mornings volunteering. You’ve made new friends, joined a philanthropic community, and continue to be the best daughter a mom could ever ask for. Please lower the bar, because you’re making me look bad to your grandma.

Watching you climb from darkness and thrive has given me the boost I needed. I want to be smarter, kinder, see more, do more, eat, sleep, breathe. I want to be a woman as wonderful as my daughter. That’s why you’re my Person of the Year. You didn’t know you were doing it, but you changed my life for the better.

Happy birthday, baby girl. I’m so glad you were born.

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My Sunshine

posted by Momo Fali on December 29, 2016

Dear Ali,

You didn’t come into the world serenely.

As I was being monitored in a hospital room, 10 weeks before your due date, a team of doctors, nurses and I-don’t-know-what-else came running in. They shoved meds and catheters in, strapped my arms down, and in a matter of minutes my belly had been cut open, You were pulled out and whisked to the NICU where they put a tube down your throat to help you breathe.

Two days later, I was allowed to hold you. The nurses said I should “kangaroo” you and hold you skin to skin, so I came to the hospital every day and I’d pull the curtain around your isolette and hold your tiny body firmly against mine.

I told you so many stories about the things that awaited you at home. Hours and hours and days and days about our crazy dog, Blue, my Grandma’s rocking chair and your very own room. I sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” Despite my horrible singing voice and your beeping monitors, it was very peaceful.

But, all I wanted was for you to come home.

Of course, in the last couple of years, your definition of home has changed a lot. I’m sorry for that. I hope that by what you have lost, you have also gained understanding, compassion and forgiveness. I’m still working on that last one. Looking for the bright side will serve you well, and when you can’t find the bright side, keep working on it. At least you can say that you tried.

Through your many different homes, and all the chaos into which you’ve been thrust, I hope you have always known how very much you are loved. I can’t really express it by holding you in my lap and singing to you anymore, but if it wouldn’t be odd for me to hold an adult in my lap and belt out tunes, you’re the adult I would pick.


And, let that be your constant. In the future, when life starts an uphill portion of its roller coaster ride, remember that you are, and will always be, my sunshine.



Take My Hand

posted by Momo Fali on July 5, 2016

As a best friend’s father lay dying last winter we gathered around the edge of his bed and I grabbed one of his hands. I held it in mine and traced the lines and sun spots dotting his skin. Those hands were like a glimpse into his past; of a life well-lived. And, it was one of the first times I’ve talked out loud about how special I think a person’s hands are.

Mine are typing this post right now. They have typed, or handwritten, thousands of stories, letters and postcards to friends and family all over the world. They have held crying babies, laughing babies, and a dying baby. They have cooked countless meals and, in the case of tonight’s dinner, burned a few as well.

I used to watch my grandmother’s as she rolled out her own noodles, or carried my handicapped cousin through the house. My children have used theirs to make me homemade cards. My dad used his for manual labor. My mom uses hers to work logic problems, or wrap her loving arms around the back of her very dirty grandson.


Hands create, they comfort, they caress and they betray. I can’t help but think of the love they promised, the ring mine wore for 18 years, and how they held the pen that signed that all away. I remember another relationship when they were used to hurt me. I think of the guns they fire and the harm they can do.

And, I can’t help but think of the new hands I hold; stronger than any I know, calloused and worn, but gentle and giving. They have rubbed my shoulders during tense times, held me in the midst of darkness and danced with me in the light. They have been quite wonderful at prodding me to do new things in this new life. I love them.

They say eyes are the window to the soul, but I think it’s the hands. Next time I see you, take my hand and give me a glimpse into yours.

They Aren’t Here

posted by Momo Fali on June 2, 2016

It never gets any easier. This is not how it is supposed to be.

They are often silent, watching shows on a tablet with headphones or reading in bed. But, they are here.

They frequently argue about silly things to the point you think you can’t take it anymore. They make messes. They use all the hot water. They leave their shoes and balls by the front door where everyone trips over them. But, they are here.


And, it never gets any easier when they aren’t. It doesn’t matter that life is really good; work is fulfilling, school is going well, you’re in a great relationship, you have friends and family you can always lean on. None of that matters when they aren’t here.

So, you tell yourself you’ll stay busy. You go to the gym, you study, you run errands you’ve been putting off and end up at Target trying to spend the $75 you always spend.

Instead you come home with empty hands and an emptier heart and there are the shoes, and the ball, and the messes. Now the ordinary silence is deafening because they aren’t here.

And it never, ever, gets any easier.