The Vault

It is incredible what our children retain.  Their capacity for reiterating stories back to us at the most unexpected times is extraordinary.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that my children are literally tiny vaults of encapsulated memories, constantly conjuring up elements from days past.

“We’re going to SESAME PLACE!!!!” Adrian screams every time we drive through a certain spot on the BQE.  “Remember when you made me wings, bought me a cookie, blew bubbles in the park, talked to the old lady with the doggie, and read me the story about the glittery mermaids?!”.  How can she possible recall the sequential order of a day that took place years ago? A day that felt rather random to me, yet clearly significant to her.  

I have a handfuls of memories I vividly remember from when I was Lucia’s exact age.  Like when I’d image in Kindergarten that my cubbie had the pretty rainbow painted on it and not the caged Lion that was assigned to me.  I remember that my friend A frequently peed in her pants and didn’t understand why F‘s tush was always peeking out of the top of his jeans.  I remember visiting my mother’s family in Colombia for the first time and begging my Tias to take me to see the movie Annie in English.  But mostly, I think of my mother and her ability to guide me and my brother with steadfast grace and compassion.  Traits I hope to emulate in my own motherhood.

School vacations always have a way of making me reevaluate my role as mama. Free of schedules, our days are fluid, filled with outdoor play, messy crafting and family-time.  I’m reminded of how Lucia and Adrian simply need to be kids and small gestures can make their days feel magical. 

My husband and I are a solid team, but recently, life’s challenges have been getting the best of us.  It feels impossible to practice “calm begets calm” when I honestly just want to scream, and the big girl still doesn’t have her shoes on after asking several times.   It’s been hard for my husband not to be short and stern when external stressors are no longer few and far between.

Then I observe my Lucia mimicking my frustration, and I watch them both be little bosses to one another.  Soon they retreat back to their biggest influence, seeking comfort found in mama’s arms. 

Sometime we need to step back and reassess the roots.  We need to reflect on our collective intentions and the foundation upon which we built our little family. Our future actions will continue to bear flaws, but accountability, and perseverance to amend can be part of our legacy.

We somehow always return to spontaneity and fun, and Marino-style family dance parties.  And we do our best to reflect what we want them to emulate, with remembrance that each new day carries memories in the making.

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The Odor House

She is growing in leaps and bounds, as is her imagination.  Last week while cooking dinner, she was disappointed when the garlic pealing came to an end.  So she took some cloves to use for her art.  And with it, she made an “odor house” for her father. 

When she was fast asleep, I studied her strange sketch of a house with peeled garlic glued to it, and thought about how she stirs and provokes my own creativity.  I am so thankful for this little girl and the beauty she breathes into my everyday, with her truly bizarre little ways.

She is most certainly my daughter. 

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Soar

I don’t think that I will ever get over how awe-inspiring it is to see it all come together.  To follow the process of the churning gears and witness the pure joy in her eyes when the words begin to flow off the pages.
Somewhere between four and five it all seemed to begin to click.

It is beyond amazing to watch your kid learn how to read. 

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Between Four Walls

Like most siblings, my children have their share of squabbles, hurt feelings, and episodes of what I perceive to be I-want-that-toy-right-now-because-he/she-has-it-syndrome.

Yet every single night they fall asleep to the sound of each other’s voices, the monitor fills our hearts one last time before silence sets in.  Giggles, squeals and comfort in the dark. Knock-knock jokes that make entirely  no sense.  Silly songs composed by mama, sung by tender hearts in unison.  Companionship upon awakening – they are never alone.  And in their shared space they plot grand schemes, bursting through their door, arms linked in solidarity.  “Let’s make cupcakes” seems like more of a possibility when your fellow ally is gripping your hand.

I pause to thank my lucky stars for whatever path lead me to this life and to a city where space is sparse, yet love is so so rich cocooned between four walls.

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Sometimes You Just Need To See The Bread-Eye

Sometimes nights involve tending to sick littles, ejecting gross pillows out of the humble abode and co-sleeping with the non-sick two year old who’s preferred sleep position feels like a human neck brace.  Sometimes days feel long when you’re cooped up inside, disinfecting, tending to hurt tummies, dodging miniature cars filled with glittery ponies and scraping hardened play-doh off the floor.   Yet wee-ones seem to have a way of drawing us in amidst the chaos and subtly reminding us that their little-hood won’t last forever.  They also project so much hope and resilience in hardship.  Today Lucia delivered that powerful message through her effortless smiles and a newfound super-power while deep in the trenches of a  nasty stomach bug.

Thanks so much for showing me your “bread-eye” kiddo.  

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Sometimes You Just Need To Chant a Family Cheer.

We have a family cheer.  It pretty much consists of the following sing-songy phrases:

1.  GO MARINOS!!
2.  HEY HEY MARINOS!!
3.  YAY MARINOS!!

The family cheer is an incredibly effective war breaker in our house.  Lucia can’t contain herself when I bust out one of those spread eagle cheerleader jumpy things in our kitchen, and we all laugh at Adrian’s interesting pronunciation of our family name (Hermino).

Sometimes these kiddos make me cheer inwardly.  Today was one of those days.

Winning.  Most definitely, winning.

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