Tag Archives: daughters

Daughters of Mine

28 Jul

After a hectic day of work full of several meetings and deadlines, I rushed through rush hour traffic to pick up my girls by 6 PM from the Horizons Day Camp, where I had guiltily dropped them off for the first time that morning.

After spending a short weekend in LA being enveloped in sisterly love celebrating my mother’s birthday, I was back in Silicon Valley where I’ve been living for a year now.  We got home around midnight which made my early morning routine a little foggier and a little bit slower.  After fighting the urge to sleep in, we made our way to Starbucks to pick up coffee and chicken and hummus boxed lunches for the girls because I didn’t have a single thing in my fridge that could quickly materialize into an edible lunch meal for my girls.

I ordered ham and cheese breakfast sandwiches for them to eat while I sipped my coffee and slowly came back to life and thought how nice it was to be able to grab breakfast at a coffee shop on a weekday like we used to do in LA.  Lost in my thoughts as we made our way to the day camp center, my girls sang new songs they had made up, recited stories and asked me question after question which reminds me, I need to define equinox to them as this morning when they asked, the morning coffee had not peeled away the sleepiness that I have been fighting for the last week of 4 hour sleep nights.

They seemed excited to go to the day camp and meet new friends.  As we walked into the center we heard a child crying for his mom which made the girls reassess the desirability of the situation and they quickly clung to me asking me not to go.  “Take me with you mommy, I can stay at work with you.  Don’t leave me here.” “I can’t sweetheart, you will both have fun and remember, you have each other.”

As I walked away heavy with guilt, I couldn’t shake off the blanket of sadness that seemed to suffocate me and threatened to make me cry.  In the car, I wondered if I was doing the right thing – working and studying towards a better tomorrow at the cost of seeing them race to adulthood before my eyes without me being there MORE.

They’re not toddlers mind you, they are 8 and 9 and are pretty independent and strong young girls.  I have always marveled at their resiliency and capacity to adapt to new environs.  I was confident that they would be fine but I felt this urgency to be by their side gnawing at my nerves all day.  During lunch I spilled water on myself as I wondered if I should have gone to visit them instead of eating my meal with colleagues.

After a meeting that ended at 5:30, I rushed to my car and looked at my map app.  I jumped on the 101 S towards Palo Alto and exited a couple of miles after to avoid the parking lot of traffic ahead. My estimated arrival time slowly got away from me, 5:48, 5:52, 5:58.  It tortured me as I took surface streets and it recalculated urging me to take a U-turn and teetering between 5:58 and 5:59 pm.  As I missed the left turn and had to wait another eternal few minutes on the intersection of Page Mill and El Camino, I willed the lights to turn faster, the arrival time to freeze at 5:59 and my girls to be okay.

As I finally pulled into the office park, I quickly parked in a loading zone and jumped out of the car like a madwoman running in my heels across the plaza to pick up my girls before 6 pm and hoping that they weren’t the last kids in the center thinking I had abandoned them.  As I walked into view, they came over and greeted me with their gorgeous big smiles and started showing me the lanyards they had made, the art work, describing the three new friends they had made until I interrupted them to hurry up and get to the car which was illegally parked.  As we dashed back to the car I couldn’t help but feel silly for having been so worried.  Of course they would have a good time, of course they would make friends – they were my daughters after all.

In the car, they took turns spilling out the contents of the day as I recuperated from my bad mom guilt trip hangover.  At the red light I turned over my shoulder and excitedly reminded them that we would be going on vacation in two more days. “We’re going to have 8 days of nonstop time with each other girls, we can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, cuddle sessions, all of the time and attention that you want.”  Bella looked lost in thought.  “Are you okay Bella?”  “Uhm, yes.”  “Aren’t you excited?” “Yes.” (In a very non-excited voice).

I couldn’t help but sigh deeply inside.  Here I was carrying the world on my shoulders all day, feeling like the worse mother in the world because I HAD to work for a living, because I am ambitious enough to move out of my hometown LA to pursue a better future with a loving partner and father to my children, because I come home tired after long stressful days at work to cook and be a good mom and then stay up late to study for my evening classes as I work towards my degree, because I wish I could stay home with them during the summer and be there for all of the moments of childhood that seem to keep slipping through my fingers – and they were oblivious to all of it.  Just like I was when I was a child.

When my mother would wake up at 3:00 AM to cook dinner before she got ready for her shift at work which started at 4:30 AM I always wondered why she bothered working so hard, I was critical of her dedication to us.  When I would come home after school and I saw her sleeping on the sofa, exhausted and still in her work uniform as a cook, I felt a mixture of sympathy and love with an edge of annoyance that I never got to talk to her, that she never greeted me, that she wasn’t like the other moms that were home all day waiting for their children to get home to ask them about their day.  Now as a mother, I am grateful for the wonderful mother that I had.  She has her imperfections like we all do but her qualities far outweigh the human qualities about her.  Her desire and hard work towards a better tomorrow, her strength through bad financial, emotional and marital times, her love for her grandchildren, her hugs filled with aromatic coffee, her gentle smile, her love and acceptance, her belief in all of her children, her tenacity to overcome a horrible childhood, her generosity in love – all of these things and so many more keep her in the pedestal in which I have her.  My own guardian angel watching over me, reminding me that someday my own daughters will see the sacrifice that mothers make for their children.  Reminding me that these daughters of mine will be just fine because I’m raising them to be like my mother raised me to be: resilient, hardworking, confident, ambitious, and kind.

 

Back to School

28 Aug

Loving Sisters, Daughters of Mine

I can’t help but feel the tightness in my chest as I see your little faces scrunched up with worry as you start school again.  You cling to me and I have no plans to let you go.  I want to hold the both of you like this, close to me, with my arms wrapped tightly around those two sets of shoulders that I never want to carry the weight of worries and fear.

At times, I regret my selfish motives in bringing you into this world. Did I do you wrong?

But that is an equally selfish and stupid thought to have.  When I look into your little shiny eyes, I can see how much happiness you will bring into this world, many times over what you already bring to me and those that are lucky enough to know you.

You possess kindness, sweet dispositions, tender hearts that ache at other’s suffering, and a joyous ringing giggle that can bring a smile to anyone who hears its music.

I am incredibly happy and blessed to have you as my own, to lay claim to having had some say in how wonderfully you are turning out.  No matter what other great things I accomplish in this life, the two of you will always overshadow them with your perfection of sweet little human beings that you are.

I am biased, no doubt, but I could care less about what others may think is an exaggeration; they have not met you.  They have not felt the velvet warmth that fills my soul when you hold me tightly as I tuck you into bed.  Nor you’re refusal to let go of my neck when I kiss you goodnight. 🙂  That love that carries through when we look at each other, smile at one another, and cuddle up with each other is unparalleled.

Some of my favorite moments are when I am in the car stopped at a red light and I reach back with my right hand and two little sets of hands instantly latch on.  You just know to expect it.  Or when one of us has a particularly difficult day whether it’s a  demanding project for me at work or someone not sharing with you at school; we listen to one another – no matter how frivolous it may be to others, we listen, we know.  And we always end it with our salute of Three Musketeers, and if that doesn’t work, we fall into a fit of giggles brought on by silly faces or jokes.
Some day the two of you will know how happy you make me.  When you are old enough I will tell you how instrumental you were in my life and how much motivation you provided.  I will confess that it’s a lot of work to raise two little ones on my own.  It was hard to have you so young after marrying too young.  But you two are like little wells of happiness that I can endlessly dip into when I need a smile, when I need a reason to see why every day is a gorgeous day, when I need a reminder of how precious life is.
No matter how tired I may be, no matter how much I want to take a nap after a long day of work and driving around to take care of the mundane needs of life, I can draw strength from your little smiling faces.  Those little beaming half-moons that fill me with an inexplicable energy to get everything done to make sure we have a simple but happy life.
I will be here for you always, no matter where you go or what you may or may not do, I will be here to love you unconditionally and to listen when no one else may seem to.  Every morning I will think of you and every day you will continue to be my babies, my little treasures, my Bellini and IzaPizza, no matter your age.
Whether it’s the first day of school, you’re first interview, or your first date (God forbid it happens before you’re 22), I will be here holding on tightly and leading the way.
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