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.

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Monterey Getaway

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Our first weekend getaway since Mina’s birth in Monterey, CA was AMAZING (thanks to Mina’s Gaga & Pa)! Under sunny blue skies (unbelievably without a cloud or fog in sight!), our stroll on the Asilomar Beach was playful and poetic: watching the otters swim on their backs and crack their catch; picking some pretty shells, a silly ritual of ours; talking about our next trip here with Mina, Gaga & Pa; all the while, holding hands, smiling I love you’s, still very much in love…actually, deeper in love today more than ever!

Over 15 years since our first kiss, our journey has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It was a long , winding journey, with unexpected, and at times very painful, detours; but I know for certain that those detours were necessary (yes, necessary meaning we needed to experience and process the pain, anger, resentment, sadness, even depression, and of course, love in solitude) to arrive here, to this us. I’ve written this before and I’ll write this again: Feeling the completeness of a full circle. We are one, we are whole; and now, we have Mina to share our aliveness and celebrate our oneness!

This weekend, I felt like we were living our wedding vows…actually, I know we live our wedding vows every day. How beautiful is that. How lucky am I. I’m just so grateful and proud of us, as husband and wife, and now as Mama and Papa to our Mina! I love that I get to share this us I so love with Mina! We are a gift; we are a wonder to me. Now, sharing our wedding vows; happy reading, happy loving! ♥

My husband:
As I make my solemn vows to Naoko, I want to thank my family and friends for preparing me for this day.

Naoko,
no one else can hold the light as you do,
boldly cupped like nectar in your slender
hands. no one else bears so well the weight of

my dreams. when i perceive the place where true
growth begins, there is only you, Love, at
its core. here, all light wears your silver scent.

“When I think of you,
I feel eternity most intimately.” (from Takamura Kotaro)

I promise to honor the daily rituals that have become our ceremonies,
and to continue to celebrate the beauty we find in these mindful gestures of love.

I promise to always communicate with you from the center of my existence.

I promise to make our love “a moving, growing, working together, whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness.” (from Erich Fromm)

I promise to always and forever be grateful for the gift that you are in my life.

Eien no ai wo koko ni chikaimasu.

Me:
As I make my solemn vows to Tim, I want to thank my family and friends for preparing me for this day.  Though she’s not here today, I’d especially like to thank my Obachan for her constant presence and love; Arigato.

if you were my poem
I would savor you
allmorningeverymorning
like our sweet morning coffee
and dance along to the
rhythmic clickings
of your spoon against my cup

if you were my poem
I would find
a coffee cup
still atatakai from
the warmth of your lips

thank you,
for leaving behind
a kiss
on my morning sip

“When I think of you,
I feel eternity most intimately.” (from Takamura Kotaro)

I promise to honor the daily rituals that have become our ceremonies,
and to continue to celebrate the beauty we find in these mindful gestures of love.

I promise to always communicate with you from the center of my existence.

I promise to make our love “a moving, growing, working together, whether there is  harmony or conflict, joy or sadness.” (from Erich Fromm)

I promise to always and forever be grateful for the gift that you are in my life.

永遠の愛をここに誓います。