Happy 14th Birthday, Bird

by Ilinap on August 29, 2017

Dear Bird,

You know I’m the sentimental type, right? My heart usurps my brain, for better or worse. You might not realize this yet, but you and I share the same constitution. I see so much of myself in you, the good bits and the not-so-good bits.

We are both smarter than the average bear (our little secret) and we are stubborn as hell. We relish being right and alienate others along the way because of it. We are opinionated and vocal, qualities that are largely good but can be perceived as negative when we talk more than we listen. We don’t lack conviction and will never be accused of complacency. While we are so much alike, there are also notable differences.

You are confident beyond measure. You’ve been this way since I dropped you off at preschool with Ms. Kris. You can enter a new situation with aplomb. When I dropped you off in kindergarten, you took your seat, picked up a crayon, and started drawing and chatting with the kid next to you. You literally did not look up when I said goodbye. I turned around with toddler Deal clutching my hand. And I sobbed. I cried not because I was sad, but because I was proud.

Here we are nine years later, and I just dropped you off at high school. High. School. My god, where does the time go? We have four short years left with you at home (because I know you’re not the basement dwelling type). I try hard not to fast forward time, yet this hourglass looms over my head with granules of sand torturously dripping. We have so much to look back on and so much to anticipate. Milestones will be paving your way, and we will be here cheering you on. You have gifts and talents and insights to share, and I look forward to you finding and using your voice. I am in awe of your ambition and know that you will do remarkable things in this world.

I know your best years are ahead of you because your dad and I have done our best to give you a cushion of good years behind you. Our little foursome sticks together. Regardless what you do, three people are behind you when you need support or a little break from standing tall. I hope we’ve laid the foundation you need to make good choices, chase dreams, frolic, find love, grow, teach, inspire, laugh at yourself, and soar. You’ll always be our Bird, after all.

Happy 14th birthday, First Baby. I love you to the moon and back.

Mom

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The Promise of Darkness, Eclipse 2017

by Ilinap on August 21, 2017

Photo credit: JRayFoto https://www.instagram.com/jrayfoto/

 

We’ve been a nation shrouded in darkness since November 9, yet today we welcomed the darkness as we eagerly awaited the total solar eclipse. In a paradoxical twist, it was the promise of darkness that breathed an airy lightness into our country.

Today was a remarkable day. We rallied around a scientific event, celebrating the universe, the glory of our world, and the sheer awe of nature. The eclipse was so much more than an astronomical event. Today’s solar eclipse was a national unifier. No one questioned science. No one blasphemed the media. No one lashed out in outrage. Today was a day to celebrate our universe, and we were positively giddy as we donned those goofy glasses.

We ventured out to new places, we clutched our family close, and we chattereed with our colleagues as we awaited the eclipse with the anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve. Social media was atwitter with traffic reports, inquiries for eclipse glasses, clever viewing parties, and play-by-play reports as the sun and moon danced. Today we united as curious citizens sharing a common history, bonding over a shared experience. We took the time to mark August 21, 2017 in our family lore and all have a tale to tell. We posed for photos with those mirrored glasses and laughed at how everyone tilted their head in a different direction, a sure sign of following the photographer’s voice since we couldn’t see a thing.

Sure, some of us have had a shared experience since the election, but it’s all been a beast to bear. We yearn for something positive, and the eclipse brought just the antidote to the influx of hate, pain, and dread each news day brings. Today that shared experience transcended social strata and time zones alike. America bonded over something positive and uplifting. We reveled instead of wallowed, and what a welcome change that was!

For two minutes today the darkness brought a much needed light. Let’s embrace that and remember the warmth of the sun and all the promise it holds. We have important work to do.  Carry with you the awe and wonder of today as you carry on the resistance tomorrow.

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