a grandmother’s hands

i follow her instructions
to the letter
one and a half cups
for every cup
rinse with more 
seriousness than usual
neutral cooking oil
instead of coconut
boil the water first
allow the rice to open
turn the heat down
low, low, low
as low as you can get it

it doesn’t come close

there must be something
in a grandmother’s hands
a certainty perhaps
a wisdom that can only 
come from repetition and 
loving intention

the way my own Mother
instinctively knows
how to make my son giggle
how he reaches for her
and no other

the sureness of her hands
the internal rhythm of her 
every movement
the hums and rhymes and
ease and comfort and joy 
she emits
it flows naturally 
as though from a well
deep inside her
some sacred grandmother
reservoir containing
every recipe, lullaby, 
well-worn memory
earned through 

the profound
the art of making 
the perfect rice
the art of soothing
and delighting
a sixteen-month-old
the exquisite 
of a grandmother’s 

love and other nutrients

certain truths found in 
dandelions and pinecones
spring blossom petals falling from the sky
a sense of rejoicing
the robin, the cardinal
the goldfinch
and you, a tiny speed demon on your scooter
learning that mud comes after the rain
and is soft enough to push your finger into
wipe it on the grass after
no, grass is not hard
not too hard, you say
we are such keen observers
the songs, the colours
we drink it all in, together
speaking the names, taking our time
learning the textures along the way
i read somewhere
it takes a mother’s body
more energy to produce milk
to feed her baby
than it does
to pump blood to her own heart
our little intricate systems
moving energy 
converting it into
love and other nutrients
this long weaving
highly charged, perfectly designed 
channel from mother to baby and back
baby to mother
each created for 
one another
it is so easy to forget
that the world 
is this way, but
out here where the wildflowers grow
and the birds fly low
here where the dandelions roam
and the pinecones make their home
here where we are free
you and me
you, my constant reminder
the way life's supposed to be. 

this is your home

this afternoon
i am astonished by
the length of your limbs
as you sleep.

time marked by new
words and phrases,
all spoken in your tiny
but mighty voice.
new seasons of wind
and heat,
your sudden ability to
withstand the waves.

we are here
only a moment,
like the sand we form
into volcanoes to
watch dissolve
in the water
or better yet
watch crumble
under your feet.

some days we flow
like the river
without the rocks
some days are
more turbulent.

my hope is always
that you feel seen
even as my mind races
to make decisions
about dinner and
where in this big
beautiful world
we should call home.

we’ve just arrived,
i will say, in each
new country.
nothing is constant,
i will say, in each
new town.

your home will always be
your hand in mine,
your head on my shoulder,
you in my arms.

later, i will explain
to you
that you carry this
tremendous love
inside you.
home doesn’t come from
a place
a piece of land.

home is where
you came from
home is where
you will
go back to.

for now
those soft green hills
that crayola blue sky
this gold shimmering sea
provide the palate
of your second year.

these fleeting
but forever days
where i am in perpetual
awe of you
and you, my unwavering
reminder of all that is
and forever.

for all that is unending
there is another which
must be temporary.

save for one
for now
and until forever,
i will be your home.

(no) fear of missing out

don’t you want to?
they ask
don’t you miss going out?

don’t you worry?
they wonder
always being left out?

aren’t you lonely?
they guess
just you two all day long?

aren’t you bored?
they suspect
don’t the days just drag on?

you could try …
they start listing
all the things i could do


with his Grandma?
maybe daycare?
take some time ‘just for you’

their suggestions
simple things ‘would be good’

good for whom?
is my question
are these small simple 'shoulds'

good for him?
or for me?
whose idea of ‘good’?

never thinking
if I wanted
then i easily could

but my answer 
is the weight 
of his head on my chest

my boy sleeping
his soft breathing
and no care for the rest

playing catch

i simply can't catch every moment
some are just too quick to pass
in a breath they slip right through my fingers
how i long though, to make each one last.

the sweetness of you at bedtime
the silliness as you run in the sea
the small hand in mine as we’re crossing the street
these moments i'll keep just for me

first giggles that came without warning
first smile as bright as the sun
tiny first steps I replay in my mind
the day that my baby turned ONE.

yet, the first 'ma!' was spoken, in what month?
first tooth popped when? i can’t recall
was it four or five months, you rolled over?
were you EVER (no really?) THAT small?

but, the first time you latched in the NICU
and the first night i woke to your cry
the first time i laid you in your papa’s arms
i can see without closing my eyes.

yes, i simply can’t catch every moment
i know deep down it must be this way
i can’t ever hold on to a past that you aren’t
for you ARE; you’re this moment, today.

limitless dreams

there were a thousand different ways this could have gone
a million possible outcomes
countless lives i could have lived
endless chances i recklessly chose from 

there were limitless dreams i could have dreamt
none could predict which would come true
but in every life, i would be your mama
and every direction would lead me to you

still feels like Christmas

it’s true what they say
you won’t know this love
until you have one of your own

how can i tell you
the nights i couldn’t sleep
my belly round and full
about to burst
each felt like Christmas Eve

days i sat at my desk
an empty studio
and wrote your name
over and over
and over again

i feel i conjured and whispered
you up out of wishes
magic and dust and
electric blue light
you’re made of music, mountains and the 
breeze, baby

the first night i held you in the hospital
i didn’t sleep
i held you and watched you, transfixed
i felt your breath against my cheek and 
how i breathed life into something so perfect

how you could go from a whisper
a dream
a name scrawled in my notebook
anticipation and wonder
to flesh and bone
spirit and stardust

one day i will tell you in a song
a poem perhaps
i will write you the love i feel
have felt
since the moment i held you in my belly
since the moment i held you in my arms
since the moment you came to be

you are a part of everything
we have never been separate
you came into this world
out of my womb
and it still feels like Christmas

you already are

My darling child, as I watch your sweet face
Peaceful and sleeping, each detail I trace.
These tender moments, the end of each day,
I whisper quiet wishes as you drift far away.

I don’t say, ‘be strong’ darling, for you already are
I won’t say ‘be good’ either, or ‘don’t stray too far’.
I won’t whisper to you all my ‘secrets to living’,
Nor will I tell you ‘be selfless, be kind and forgiving’.

For I believe in your goodness, I’ve seen it from the start
That goodness comes naturally, as your wide-open heart.
Generosity, kindness and gentleness too
These are natural states, expressed clearly through you.

See, I am not here to teach you, you’re here to teach me,
Remind me of who I am, remind me to Just Be.
Your vision is clear, and your spirit is free,
Like you came here to remind your Mama how to see.

Your raw, unadulterated joy brings out mine
Your awareness and attention make mine more refined.
You remind me of all those things I am not,
And you show me the truths that I somehow forgot.

I won’t wish for one moment, that you see things like me
And I won’t waste one wish teaching you how to 'be'.
Your superior wisdom, unencumbered mind,
Pure expressions and emotions not conditioned like mine.

my darling child, as I watch your sweet face
Peaceful and sleeping, each detail I trace.
These tender moments, at the end of each day,
I whisper quiet wishes as you drift far away:

You are safe, you are loved, this whole world is your home
You take my love with you, wherever you roam.
We will never be separate, I whisper in your ear
I am always beside you; I am always right here.

Carry this with you, as you start each new day
You are already perfect, in every way.
You are sunshine & magic, my love through and through
And you have everything you’ll ever need inside you.