Articles Tagged Parenting


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.

Pin It
filed under Kids and tagged with , ,

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.


posted by Momo Fali on May 9, 2016

Your birthday crept up on me this year because things have been a little crazy around here. Not that we don’t know crazy, because you and I have been doing crazy for 13 years and 364 days. Give or take a few leap years.

You, alone, have been through a lifetime of trials, but lately your trials have outweighed your triumphs. Having health problems is hard. Wearing hearing aids is hard. Being on the spectrum is hard. Having surgeries, getting blood drawn, switching schools, starting new medications, your mom starting a new job, and your parents getting divorced? All hard. And, that’s just the last nine months.


When you put it all together, it’s clear that you are the same kid you’ve always been. You roll with the punches and always come back. Slowly, but I like to think that’s because you want it to be perfect.

And, even with all the chaos you made such strides in your 13th year. You learned how to swim without vomiting! (The other people in the pool appreciate that very much.)

You learned to smell vinegar without vomiting, too! And, you even LIKE pickles now. That was a big one. Of all the advances you’ve made, I think I like not vomiting the most.


You did other amazing things too, like hiking nine miles through the mountains in California, going for a dirtbike ride, riding waves in North Carolina and seeing your first concert. It was a joy to see you experience new things. Like when you pulled the fire alarm in the hotel at midnight. Good times. Good times.



I am so proud of how resilient you are. I’m so happy you were born. Happy 14th birthday, buddy. And, just so you know, you are totally not driving anytime soon.

A First Time for Everything

posted by Momo Fali on October 21, 2014

This post was inspired by Netflix. Come see what we’re watching.

My kids, both born premature, started their life journeys by consistently missing milestones. Crawling, walking, talking (though, I can attest they have both caught up markedly in that regard), running, jumping – pretty much every chart in their baby books was left untouched until months after a child would typically have it filled.

Needless to say, these breakthroughs have been a huge deal around here. A daughter who didn’t crawl until her first birthday or a son who didn’t speak until he was nearly four years old was cause for long-awaited celebration. They weren’t (and in some cases, still aren’t) just milestones; they are rather enormous landmarks. I’ve been tempted to erect monuments.

Now that they’re 12 and 15, the milestones are less about their existence and more about fun. For instance, my son was recently able to join us on the 93 mph Millennium Force roller coaster at Cedar Point. His next goal is to be tall enough to ride Top Thrill Dragster which goes 120 mph and launches you 420 feet in the air. Don’t judge me because I verified with his cardiologist, TWICE, that it was okay for him to ride them. They are  intense, but we love them and when he was finally 48″ at age 12, he loved some of the big coasters too.

With Halloween on the horizon, we’ve started enjoying the experience of watching scary movies with our daughter. Poltergeist didn’t faze her. Probably because she only knows Craig T. Nelson from “Parenthood” and she doesn’t have any concept of The National Anthem playing on the television at 1:30am, then going static for the  night. *shudder* The TV always had to be turned off before the static started! Always!

Of course, the milestone I’m most looking forward to is when my daughter will do the dishes without being told, or when my son learns to keep the shower curtain liner inside the bathtub. Those moments will be GREAT! Some I’m less than thrilled about, like my daughter going off to college. Gulp. That one is going to be rough. Like sandpaper on a rug-burn rough.

One thing is for certain, these are the things that make memories. You don’t remember the fifth time your kid rode a bike, but you’ll never forget the first.