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’!

Just Listen

posted by Momo Fali on November 25, 2014

I didn’t grow up with black friends. I lived in a white suburb, surrounded by white neighbors. I don’t remember a single person of color in my elementary school and there were only a handful in my very large high school. I’ve worked with one black man in my entire career.

After my husband and I got married, I gained a black niece and her four children have become my great-niece and nephews. Through blogging, I have met some of the most thought-provoking women (and men) of color. These people, this family, and community is mine, regardless of the shade of their skin. Where I came from and what I experienced growing up no longer matter.

Right now, these friends are hurting. People act out because they are hurting. Just the other day, I was slamming doors and drawers and I actually punched a wall because I was hurting. It is not fair for me to judge others for their reaction to pain.

My niece and friends live in fear for their sons’ lives and my heart is breaking. I’m not even talking about the people protesting in Ferguson, I’m talking about my family across town and my friends in Cincinnati, Chicago, New York, Houston, Albany, Austin, Atlanta, and every other city across the United States. These are American mothers and fathers who go to work, love their families, and shouldn’t have to live under a different system than white people. It’s really that simple.

But, of course, it’s not simple.

At church last week, the homily was about treating every person you come in contact with as if they were Jesus. It’s hard not to gossip, judge, and be open to new thoughts; I know I am guilty of it. But, don’t we owe it to these young people in our midst to try? Just listen to the stories. Really listen. Without judgment. That should be simple enough. It’s a start, at least.

Just because I was privileged enough to be born with white skin doesn’t make me privileged enough to not care.

My great-nephews lives may depend upon it.