THE TYPE OF THINGS WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO REMEMBER (for my daughters on 9/11)

The world is more complicated than before, this is true. However, the things we need to know are extremely simple… the fundamental concepts are universal, and everything is always less complicated when we pause long enough to remember.

keniasmileShe walked through her Nonna’s front door last Tuesday morning. I was already immersed in the task at hand and I barely said hello, too busy measuring, mixing, and pouring… making her a special surprise.

She passed by me with a lovely smile – perhaps a hint of something that I had forgotten to say – I barely looked up and didn’t take the time to soak up the joy in her voice or in her stride.

I continued to measure and to mix and to pour, absorbed in the process of the preparation of her favorite dessert and not in the most important thing that there was to do at that very instant.

5, 10, 15 whole minutes went by me unnoticed

so quickly, too quickly and certainly not the first time.

Measuring, mixing, pouring, preparing… and then

a GASP.

Sudden recognition.

A reminder.

I ran towards her with open arms- a dense, semi-bitter cream dripping down my fingers…

an even denser, semi-guilty expression running across my face:

Happy Birthday Honey, I said while looking directly into my daughter’s beautiful and enormous, almond shaped eyes… then I squeezed every bit of her, and with this I embraced all the seconds that I have carelessly missed throughout these 11 years while tied up doing all the other things –  the measuring, mixing, and pouring involved in the daily life of a full time mom.

A breath, no 11

one for each year as I continued to hold her close with nothing but her in my mind, the smell of her skin and the touch of her hair tickling my nose.

So much missed…

11 years of memories that try their darnest to escape me racing through my tired, but finally paused thoughts:

It all goes by so fast even when you try to capture every morsel.

DOESN’T IT?

and also so much pleasure… a miracle I am blessed with every single day;

a miracle given to each mother from the very first cry.

Today I shall stop. Tomorrow too...

long enough to tell them a few important things about how I feel

the same type of things that I have told my daughters so many times before…

the type of things that I could never say too many times…

the type of things we want our daughters to hold on to

the type of things us daughters find so hard to believe.

keniaandhaviYou are perfect just the way you are.

You are strong enough to just be you.

In this world there is beauty all around you… you just need to widen your range of vision and this too you shall see.

You are never alone. Just ask and there I will be.

Tomorrow I shall stop. The next day too...

long enough to remind her of a few important things about who she is

the type of things our daughters need not forget

the type of things, essential messages, us daughters for some reason struggle to receive

You are special…

while you play and run, read and sleep,

while you pout and stumble and despair.

You are special…

as your kindness and curiosity and wisdom expand along with your growing pains…

as you learn that the problems you encounter are never too difficult to resolve.

You are special…

when you shove pizza and potato chips in your mouth, crumbs falling everywhere as I remind you to chew…

when you brutally boss your little sister around and insist that she follows every order and command.

You are also special when…

you refuse to fix your closet… messy clothes, new, clean, dirty and old all mixed in as I resist my temptation to fold and organize and nag…

you insist on wearing high top sneakers and funky leggings to perfectly complete your outfit on a humid, 90 degree day…

I love, I hate, I learn to accept… and then I love even more because all these things make you you…. and this is why you are so special.

The next days I will stop. The months to follow too…

long enough to show my daughters a few important things about what I see

the type of things our daughters miss, destorted images looking back at them from a mirror and talking to them from their subconscious minds

the type of things us daughters can only truly feel when our mothers look straight into our eyeshavieyes

From the top of your knotty heads to the bottom of your perfectly manicured toes… 

from every angle and every side: YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.

you and all your parts…

the good, the bad, the mad and the sad,

the excited, the complaining, the observant and the sometimes too lazy.

This month and the one that comes next I will stop… and year after year too

long enough not to miss out on…

the types of things our children consistently offer us,

the type of things my daughters unknowingly provide…

the type of things I don’t want them to forget…

the type of things I must remind myself to repeat…

the type of things our daughters long to hear

the type of things us mothers, also daughters, continue to learn

Stand on your own two feet.
There is no better way to stand.
There will be those who will try to make you believe that you have failed.
Don’t believe them.
You have only failed when you stop trying.
Don’t give up. Protect your smile and stand strong.

(and please remember I will Always believe in you)

You walked through Nonna’s front door last Tuesday morning.

I measured, I mixed, I poured, I prepared…

and then I stopped.

A Gasp.

Sudden recognition.

A reminder.

I put down the measuring cup, the mixing bowl, and the wooden spoon so that I wouldn’t miss all the sweetness of the moment… of deliciously creamy you.bdaycake2

A breath, no 11

one for each year of her life… one for each miraculous year… because this is the type of thing that I want to remember…

and these are the type of things that we want our children to remember too.

Today we will stop, tomorrow and the next days too

long enough to feel, to see, to hear a loving voice say:

Happy Birthday Honey and thank you my dear….

for all the things that you teach me about being your mother,

for all the things us daughters can understand about our very essence, about the preciousness of life…

when I look into your eyes, when you look into mine…

when we feel the truth and…

we both know that this is the ONLY thing that there is to do at this very instant,

that this is the ONLY thing that we truly need to know. 

This post is dedicated to Kenia, who turned 11 on September 1st. May the cake always be super delicious, and the loving memories be so much more!

It is also dedicated to all us children, born before and after 9/11… it is up to us to remember what is important. It is up to us to make the shift towards a more peaceful and loving world.

with joy and infinite gratitude,

firma danni

 

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