“She lights a cigarette, leans against the counter and watches her son eat. This will be his last year in children’s sizes. He has his father’s head, his father’s way of eating steadily, neatly, the working of the jaw, the set of the shoulder and something about the eyes – though her son’s are brown – the same long lashes, and that open quality, the focused unawareness that is masculine innocence. She can almost see the face of the man emerging from that of the boy. Her gaze is a thing of substance. Between a mother’s eyes and her son’s face, there is not air. There is something invisible and invincible. Even though – or because – he will go out into the world, she will never lose her passion to protect him. Girls are different. They know more. And they don’t leave you.” –Ann Marie MacDonald, The Way the Crow Flies
My baby girl is one year old today!
From the minute Gia was born, her eyes were wide open, taking in the world around her. Those expressive eyes, I melt every time I look into them.
Gia is a hybrid of her two brothers. She seems older than she is, something I always felt with Luca. She has the same whispy, fair hair Luca had at her age. She has Julian’s curiosity and determination, as well as a little bit of his mischievousness. I would definitely say Gia is a Daddy’s girl (the way she runs to him when he gets home!), but reserves her deliberate, open-mouthed kisses for me. She ADORES her brothers,
running speed crawling after them, wherever they go. And they adore her back. Watching the three of them interact fills my heart like nothing else.
Gia, I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful daughter. Every single time I look at you, I’m in awe of how perfect you are. But what’s more is I can feel the beauty that radiates inside of you. A dear friend once said that you would do great things in life. I know this to be true. I love you bug. Happy 1st birthday. x
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” — Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore.
2015 was one of my most challenging years yet. Despite this, I will always look back on this year with extreme gratitude for two, main reasons: The birth of our beautiful Gia and my own personal growth.
Whether you are one to make year-end resolutions or not, reflection is something you just can’t help at this time of year. And I have been doing a lot of reflection as I set my intentions for 2016. I’d like to share a few of my personal goals here, if you’d like to read..
Heart-warming advice from a father to his son.
My first baby is four years old today. How did we get here so quickly?
At the age of four, reading continues to be Luca’s favorite activity. He reads everything, everywhere. The other day he was grocery shopping with Charlie and was quite upset when they passed the frozen section and Charlie didn’t pick up our routine Eggo waffles (lol). Charlie tried to explain that we already had some at home, but sometimes there is just no reasoning with a
toddler preschooler. To keep the peace, Charlie placed a box in the cart temporarily and returned it once Luca was distracted. Once they paid, Luca asked for the receipt and read each item on it, out loud. After reading the list twice, he looks up at Charlie and exclaims, “Daaadeee! But where is Eggo waffles?!” Ha! We can’t get anything past this one.
In these past four years I’ve watched Luca grow into the most beautiful being. He’s always had such a thirst for learning and I’m constantly in awe of how quickly he is able to pick things up. He can be a stubborn one (mostly around dinner time – but hey, at least he’s consistent?) and still has the same infectious laugh he had when he was just a few months old. Luca is a sensitive little guy and sometimes that translates into more emotional outbursts in a day, than I’d like. That being said, I wouldn’t change his sensitivity for anything because that is what makes him the gentle soul he is. He takes such good care of everything and everyone around him and is the most affectionate little person I know. I can literally feel the love bursting from his heart when I hold him close. I’m so proud of him.
Luca, my love, happy 4th birthday! I love you, so very much.
I recently read this essay in The Times and it’s been on my mind ever since. Many of us are striving for quality over quantity, but when it comes to the time we are spending with our loved ones, Bruni makes a good case for quantity. I’m currently in month three of a year-long maternity leave and even with work out of the equation, I still find myself contemplating whether or not I am making the most of my days with my family. I found this particular excerpt of his quite comforting:
“Couples move in together not just because it’s economically prudent. They understand, consciously or instinctively, that sustained proximity is the best route of the soul to someone; that unscripted gestures at unexpected junctures yield sweeter rewards than scripted ones on date night; that the “I love you” that counts most isn’t whispered with great ceremony on a hilltop in Tuscany. No, it slips out casually, spontaneously, in the produce section or over the dishes, amid the drudgery detritus of their routines. That’s also when the truest confessions are made, when hurt is at its rawest and tenderness at its purest.”