Mina’s First Day @ Tiny Tots

I’m realizing it’s been 1 year, 5 months, and 10 days since Mina’s first day at Friends & Me: Big girl, Mina @ Friends & Me

17 months…528 days…12,672 hours…760,320 minutes. Wow.

But these numbers don’t carry any meaning other than the obvious and inevitable passing of time.

What carries meaning is Mina and her moving, growing, changing self.

Mina graduated Friends & Me on March 13, 2014. Since then, we’ve explored swimming and art classes; our first long road trip from NorCal to Jackson Hole, about a 14-hour drive across 3 days, involving Mina’s first hotel stays (she loved loved the Nevada hotels, especially the swimming pools and endless fun of jumping on beds); her first sightings of bison, antelope, ground squirrels, deer, and countless stunning birds; and her first sleepover at her cousin’s.

She’s growing up to be quite an individual with wit, whimsy, and spunk. And a whole lot of sweet.

One of my favorite moments from this summer: On August 3rd, we make a toast to us and our “moving, growing, working together” kind of love, “Happy Anniversary.”

And Mina celebrates, “We’re all married now!!!”

In that instant, we laugh and melt because she is so us. We feel and live love; love breathes and smiles in every exchange, and she’s already learned to share these tender gestures of love with us. A sweet peck on our foreheads, soothing strokes of her small hand on our shoulders, and even a silly swoon after our kisses (my favorite!) 🙂

Thank you, Miss Mina, for your sweet spunk. You surprise us, inspire us daily with your curious mind and mindful eye. You remind us to pay attention and notice the wonders around us. I am ever grateful and honored to be given this chance to be your Mama, to be part of this family I only dreamed of.

3 years flew by but with such force to bring out the best in me, in us. What a ride, what a rush of magical moments after another, and we’re now “firmly plantedandgrowing” as this family that’s just perfect for me.

We are such a gift, such a wonder to me.

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we love. we are loved. with all its flaws and magic intact.

Another month’s escaped me since I first drafted this post…no more “Save Draft” for more edits, touch-ups.  With less time to write (let alone edit!), I just need to let the words out and let them be.  Just love them as they are, as I do my Mina.

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It’s been 2 months since my last post, 2 months since Mina’s first day of Friends & Me class.  Where does the time go?  Days, weeks, months just move too quickly…Mina is surely growing up too fast!  I can’t catch up to do the thing I really want to do: WRITE!  I just have to make time! Just Do It, right?

Today, I was touched by this quote:

“The best advice I’ve ever given — I hope — is that which I gave to my son when he was growing up. He said, ‘I don’t have any friends. How can I get some friends?’… I told him two things. I told him, ‘In order to get a friend, you have to be a friend…’ And also I told him, ‘There’s a place in you that you must keep inviolate. You must keep it pristine, clean, so that nobody has the right to curse you or treat you badly. Nobody. No mother, father, no wife, no husband, nobody.'”  – Dr. Maya Angelou

Makes me wish I was given this gift of advice when I was young but more greatly, makes me happy and proud to be able to share Maya Angelou’s advice with Mina (when she’s older, of course!).  I daydream about all the wonderful things I hope we’ll get to share as mother and daughter, as us as a family.

I’m not fooling myself; I am fully aware it won’t ALL be happy, breezy times.  There’ll certainly be challenging times beyond anything I could ever imagine now, but I hope I’ll be able to live through them with love and grace.

I smile thinking about all the wonderful things we already share: hugs & kisses, tickles & laughter, stories & poetry, even demands & tantrums.

Motherhood has been by far the most amazing gift ever, especially because I get to share this magical journey of parenting with the love of my life.  We have our moments.  He breaks my favorite bodum cup. Honey! I break our special artwork mug.  Sorry!  He runs my delicate new top in the dryer.  Again!  I nag at him.  Sorry…

Yet, even in the most annoyed moments, we know that it is just that, MOMENTS.  It’s fleeting, only momentary, never here to stay.  Even at the height of our annoyance, we each know, without a doubt, that we love and that we are loved.

Our love is never harmed or touched, only opens to reveal the unfathomably resilient unconditional love.  It’s like what Maya Angelou’s saying.  Our love is what we keep inviolate; we protect, keep our love safe and whole, with all its flaws and magic intact.