Wonderful little day

“Sister, I don’t want to go home…” Are the first words I woke up to this morning. I don’t have a sibling living in the house at the moment. There was a five-year-old that I was babysitting and it was such a wonderful way to wake up in the morning.

I dressed and got ready for class. The teacher isn’t there so I will have to teach the class. Last time it was chaos. They overwhelmed me. I say a quick prayer before putting my coat on and walking out of the house and running to church. Hoping that God will provide me with the confidence needed to teach the class.

Well, nothing is ever perfect. I tried, I went, and they learned. Their eyes closing slightly at the early morning speeches and ideas. Then the hugs, and the energy came back and suddenly I felt as if I were somewhat successful. Somewhat.

I went to church, then went to the store to buy a homeless shelter some items. While there I met a newborn. Newly two days old with their parents walking, happy as ever. His small pink fists pressed against his cheeks as he breathes in and out, in and out and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with emotions.

I read a book “Son” by Lois Lowry, which makes me appreciate my mother, despite our differences. The emotions of Lowry and the loss of her son about 17 years ago rang so true through the novel. The reviews aren’t perfect; they never are, but despite the amazing novel “The Giver”, I find myself loving “Son”, even more.

After about two hours, cramped up in the middle of the aisle with cranky parents having to maneuver about my legs, my father calls me and tells me were going to “Rise of the Guardians”. I don’t normally see movies, I’m fidgety and cannot sit still but this movie had me on all three levels:

1) Jack Frost, the idea of him being a thin, long-legged, mischief maker with white hair sold me.
2) the quotes that were in the movie. Don’t ask me what they are now but I do remember I gawked quite a bit.
3) the Easter bunny when nobody believed him… And the sand man. Everytime the Easter bunny talked in his “non-believing mode” I was sobbing from happiness and joy.

And lastly a husbands love for his wife. He had this elaborate set up for his 25th anniversary and his wife fell sick. In short he had a parish involved and her brother to walk her down the aisle for a renewal of vows. But since she fell sick he did it all in the comfort of his house. She cried. He cried. I cried.

I wish days like this could come more often, but it will stay with me forever and ever.

Walking with mama

After a tumultuous year, I (and my mother) get to spend few solitary and peaceful moments together. It’s not that we don’t want to but our personalities clash so heavily and we aren’t very good talkers, always keeping quiet unless our honest truths come out.

Which in our conversations, happens a lot.

Yesterday, she and I walked alone for a while, got along and suddenly I realize, this is the mother I love and adore, who loves and adores me. I’ve missed so many moments of my life being torn up by her and she by me.

Throughout the human life, especially in adolescence, it’s healthy to rebel, and rebel I did. I also knew it would hurt her but at the same time, in order to preserve my sanity I did.

“Mem, how many days left?”
“86.”
“I’m going to hold onto each of those 86 days and miss you terribly when you’re gone.”
“Regardless of all the fighting?”
“You’re still my baby girl. And you bright this light into this household.”

I didn’t cry then. But I cry recalling these words to anonymously show the world how much I love my mother, and my mother loves me.

Mom, in 86 days I won’t be a child anymore. I’ll be growing up. I’ll always be your youngest and you’ll always be the mother who lay in bed for three months straight after four miscarriages trying to keep me alive in those pivotal few months and watched over helplessly as doctors kept me in an ICU for a week because they thought I was defective because I was born to older parents. You watched me grow in three different continents, always struggling to make the right friends and choices, in the end you are the reason why I made it so far without too many problems.

Closing this horribly sentimental blog post, last night I realized. No matter how hard I try, or seek. I’ll never understand a mothers love and strength until I am a mother myself.

Peek-a-boo

I have just made friends with a few classmates in one of my classes and the first thing one of them says to me is: “would you like to meet my three-year-old?”

Three’s a bit old for me when it comes to babies, but wanting to keep a friendship, I join her and a friend (who I recently found out will be flying to Basic Training with me. Same time same place. what luck!) and we meet the little darling.

As with all children she plays shy and only wants the attention of her mother. Then she hides behind my chair tapping it screaming: “I no see you!” I shift to the left of my seat to catch a glimpse of the child. Then to the right and she outright tickles me.

“She’s not as shy as she wants to seem.”
“Seems like you’ve got a thing with children mem?”
“She’s beautiful, looks just like you.”

The little girl buries her face in her mothers jacket and demands that she carry her, the mother does and the girl waves a small goodbye to my friend and I while the mother carries her back to her grandmother, where she and her mother stay with now.

Old friends

I am looking through some friends Facebook pages. Some of them it’s been over eight years and I’m staring at the screen.

I want to say something

But ten years is forever, they’re on my friends list but we’ve never talked, I’ve always wanted to know, I’ve always wanted to be there with them

forever.

My heart breaks when I get to two friends who I was inseparable from in sixth grade. Two boys, back then I was like Arya Stark, I was a young girl, a better fighter than most boys and often questioned as one. We even had a cat episode together. I was one of the boys, and when girls would ask me out they’d protect me.

I was the first to move the next one followed a few months later.

we never got back together

There was a Skype call here and there and we tried, well, I tried. I moved to a new country and was supremely unhappy, whereas the one who stayed wanted to try, as well. The one who moved as well wanted to move on. He wanted to grow up without us. We kept somewhat a tab on each other for years. I was very close to the one who stayed growing up. He listened to me, he tried to help and when I got suspended from the school he listened and didn’t judge. He saw it as my way out of hell.

We continued correspondence and high school came along. I had never heard from the boy who moved ever again except on his birthday when Facebook would tell me where I’d grin and write him something nice and he responded to everybody but me. The other one drifted too and suddenly I became popular at my new school, in my new home home and I forgot them as well.

Soon people remembered me as the girl who hung with the boys, the straight edge who cursed like a sailor but made cookies for everyone hoping they’d feel better. The kind girl with the sharp tongue who came from everywhere and nowhere. They found me and added me on Facebook, scarcely trying to keep a friendship but discussing their private lives publicly online and realize how much they – and I – have changed.

There is no common ground anymore. The years have killed so many of my friendships and made me into a harder person, but a more realistic person. My fingers hover over the keyboard, my brain tries to think of something to write because “happy birthday” will not suffice.

I’ve tried all my life.

I close the window

And tell myself they have the means to reach me, I’m tired of trying only to be pushed away and I won’t treat them like they’ve treated me over the years.

Pass

Walking home today in the chilled October weather, I walked past a house that had a lot of meaning to me. A house whose doors were always open and smiling hearts and warm food awaited.

I was a year younger, dressed in confusion. Newly out of the house with an argument behind me, I stumbled in once and fell in love. I felt like I was finally home after eighteen years of searching.

Well, the family left and the house still stands. I stood before it for a long while, thanking it but also regretting that I spent so much time there when really in my stubbornness, I should have been home with my parents. Talking things out, perhaps the situation I came under would have been easier to deal with.

The wind whipped my hair and chilled my cheeks, the door opened and I was almost happy and a little boy came out and I knew it was time for me to leave.

Skipping stones

My father and I, mother watching warily from a height above us, sat by the riverfront. I watch as the river swells, laughter rises, and beauty both diminishes and is soon replaced by the nighttime sky.

I wait until the sun sets the world on fire. I let this moment drag.

“Dad, I’ve never learned how to skip stones.”

“What kind of childhood have you had?”

A nomadic one, a cultural one, a confusing one thoughts flow into my head.

“The one you gave me.”

He bends down with his aching knees and has a fist full of rocks in his hands. He puts one into my hand and shows me how to throw it as if I’m still a child.

Moments like this make my mothers heart swell and my father regrets momentarily how much of a normal life I’ve never had. Then he laughs about it and realizes he could never change it. I’m eighteen now, I look and act nothing like a normal eighteen year old and that’s what makes me their child.

I continue to skip rocks until the fires dim out and the world is cold and cool again. I listen to the sounds of splashing in the canoes we rode earlier, the chanting of the temple we visited and although so much joy and beauty existed, I found my most favorite part of the journey was skipping stones along the river bank with my father watching the first ripple, create a second ripple, then a third, to sink into the bottom of the bank.

What was, what is, and what will be.