Thursday, September 30, 2010


It's his comfort, his security. He climbs up on my lap, puts a finger in his mouth and reaches out his other hand to stroke my face and neck. The touch of my skin to his calms him. He nuzzles his face into my neck or places his forehead against my cheek.

He can only fall asleep when he is touching my skin. As he dozes off, his fingers dance over my face touching my eyes, nose or cheek. I can tell he is asleep when his hand lazily brushes past my neck before resting on his chest.

He pokes my belly and then his. Laughing at the similarities, the roundness, the softness. His eyes light up when he realizes our belly buttons are the same. Poke momma. Poke Lion.

My skin also bears the signs of his love. Bruises from excited or frustrated bites. The caresses of my face can turn into slaps or pinches. "No, no. Be gentle", I tell him. "Show momma love." The hits turn back to touches. The finger returns to the mouth. Calmness returns.

My skin is his comfort, his security. His skin and my skin are one and the same. It's what he needs now to feel safe.

There will come a time when he places his hand on my arm and he notices the differences. Dark cocoa brown and light peach are not the same. My skin will bear the wrinkles of time, his the softness of youth. How will I explain?

I will take his hand and touch it to my face. I will remind him of this time. I will remind him of the comfort and security he found. I will remind him that the touch of my skin to his was how we bonded, how we came to love and trust each other.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sometimes The Glitter And Rainbows Look A Little Different

Today is my birthday.

Today is just another ordinary day. The world did not stop for me. There were no unicorns, no rainbows, no pink puffy heart stickers. Instead there were frozen waffles, runny noses and poopy diapers.

My birthday in 2010 did not turn out as I had envisioned. There is no flying car or robot maid. Instead I drove Bunny to school in an old SUV and I am the one picking up the legos that are left out for me to step on.

There is nothing extraordinary about my day, nothing special to mark my 41 years on this earth. Instead it is just an ordinary day filled with kisses and hugs, handmade birthday cards and pictures of pink unicorns with hearts and glitter.

And I'm totally cool with that (except I really, really want a flying car)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A New Year

Our family recently celebrated two new year celebrations. The Jewish New Year for Frink and the Ethiopian New Year in honor of Lion (this brings the total new years that our family celebrates to four, well five if you count the school year). I like the idea of having a new year in the middle of the year. It's a time to look back. It's a time to cherish what you have and also a time to start fresh.

This year (or half year) has been filled with so much beauty. Moments that I want to savor like a summer peach, so ripe that the juices drip down your chin. Laughter. Smiles. Hugs. Kisses. Holding a sleeping child in my arms. Watching my daughter run and play with her friends on the playground before school. Beautiful, perfect moments I want to keep forever.

The challenges have been difficult.

"He bit me!" " I don't want a brother." "You ruined my life when you brought him here!!!"

The times in the beginning when he could not bear to be apart from me. The hitting. The biting. The inability to communicate with my son.

The new math of one to two, three to four was difficult to learn. There were times when thought I would break, sobbing in the darkness wondering what I had done.

I needed an escape, an oasis in the desert. I found what appeared to be a crystal clear pond that I could soak my bones in at the end of a long day. Night after night I jumped in the inviting waters but I did not find peace. Instead I found that I could not swin. So instead of relief, I struggled.

One night I climbed out of the pond for the last time. When I had wiped the water from my eyes, I saw a path through the woods. I did not know where the path led, I only saw its beauty, its potential. I saw smiling faces welcoming me. I saw hands reaching out to help me. This is not a path I would have to walk alone.

So I enter this new year full of hope for the beauty that is to come. And if there are unexpected twists and turns, I know I only have to wait four months for the next new year.